Soil Health Information

​​​Meet the farmers and conservation professionals 
***Please check back in January 2024 for the next grant cycle. 
​​Maryland's Healthy Soils Competitive Fund
Do you have an innovative conservation idea for your farm? If so, you've come to the right place. MDA's Healthy Soils Competitive Fund provides financial assistance to qualifying farmers who want to adopt a range of soil health or agroforestry practices. It aims to support farmers and operators who are ineligible for other programs. 

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.

You can apply for these grants during the open enrollment period, which typically begins in January and runs for approximately six weeks. Please bookmark this page and check back in January for applications and details on the latest signup.  

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
        • Prescribed Grazing
Forestry practices to improve soil health and build climate resilience​​​​​are also available for funding. These projects are highly ranked and include: 
        • ​Alley Cropping
        • Hedgerow Planting​
        • Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
        • Silvopasture
        • Tree and Shrub Establishment


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 ​  


        • ​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

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

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