The Maryland Department of Agriculture provides conservation grants and loans to help farmers offset the cost of installing best management practices on their farms to protect natural resources and comply with federal, state and local environmental requirements.
The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program provides farmers with grants that cover up to 100 percent of the cost to install BMPs on their farms to control soil erosion, manage nutrients and safeguard water quality in streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Approximately 40 BMPs are currently eligible for funding. The Cover Crop Program provides farmers with grants to plant small grains on their fields in the fall to conserve nutrients, control soil erosion and protect water quality. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program--a federal-state partnership program--pays landowners attractive land rental rates to take environmentally sensitive cropland out of production for 10 to 15 years and plant buffers and other conservation practices that protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat. We additional programs that provide attractive incentives to plant trees. You can check out our Tree Planting Incentives to learn more. A Manure Transport Program is available to help animal producers transport excess manure off their farms. Farmers who purchase certain types of conservation equipment may qualify for a Maryland Income Tax Subtraction Modification on their state tax returns. To help farmers comply with Maryland's nutrient management regulations, cost-share grants for Manure Injection are offered in the spring and fall. Low Interest Loans for Agricultural Conservation (LILAC) help supplement federal and state cost-share payments. The department also offers grants for the development of Innovative Animal Waste Technologies. Click the highlighted program on the left sidebar menu or check out the PDF box for more information on these programs.