Soil Health Information

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​​ JANUARY 3rd - MARCH 3rd, 2023

Maryland's Healthy Soils Competitive Fund

The Maryland Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for its new Healthy Soils Competitive Fund on January 3rd, 2023. If you have an innovative conservation idea for your farm, this program is for you! It provides financial assistance to qualifying farmers who adopt conservation​ practices that provide soil, water, and climate benefits. Its aim is to support farmers and operators who are ineligible for other programs. ​


HOW MUCH MONEY IS AVAILABLE?
This competitive grant program awards selected applicants with up to $50,000 to support 3 years of enhanced healthy soil practices. Individual producers and organizations that want to take the next step to improve soil health may apply.


ENROLLMENT WINDOW
MDA will accept applications from January 3r​d, 2023, through March 3rd, 2023. Grant recipients will be announced by April 30th, 2023.​


WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS ARE FUNDED?
Financial assistance is available to manage conservation practices in new and innovative ways that improve soil health, yield, and profitability and capture carbon. Eligible practices include:
        • ​Cover Crops
        • Conservation Tillage
        • Pasture and Hay Planting
        • Conservation Cover
        • Critical Area Planting
        • Conservation Crop Rotation
        • Nutrient Management
        • Integrated Pest Management
​​​​The following Agroforestry practices are also available for funding:
        • ​Alley Cropping
        • Hedgerow Planting​
        • Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
        • Silvopasture
        • Tree and Shrub Establishment


WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDS?

The following individuals or groups may apply for funding. You may apply for funding for more than one conservation practice:
        • Individual farmers operating in Maryland
        • Groups of farmers operating in Maryland
        • Individuals or organizations conducting research with farmers in Maryland, participating farms must be named in the application   


MORE INFORMATION

Please note:
        • ​There are no minimum or maximum acreage requirements
        • Farm size is not a criteria for project selection 
        • Funds may not be used to cover overhead or indirect costs
        • Grant recipients will receive 20% of the funds upfront, with the remainder distributed annually upon verification of progress.  
        • Funds may be used to:​​​
          • Support implementation of conservation practices
          • Cover staff and administrative time for organizations that provide technical support to producers
          • Cover research costs 
          • Purchase or rent equipment that supports the adoption of soil health practices 
            ​​
Funding for this program is provided by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund​
​​​​​

Contact Information

Alisha Mulkey, Program Manager
Program Planning & Evaluation​
Office of Resource Conservation
alisha.mulkey@maryland.gov
410-841-5863

Kevin Antoszewski, Healthy Soils Program Specialist 
Program Planning & Evaluation
Office of Resource Conservation
kevin.antoszewski@maryland.gov
410-841-5866

Office Address
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401


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