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News Release

Funding Still Available for Conservation Partnership Projects in Maryland

Round 2 application deadline extended to April 16

Annapolis, Md., March 30, 2021 — USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging farmers and forest landowners to submit applications for current Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects available in Maryland.

Farmers and forestland owners may apply for conservation funding at any time throughout the year, but funding selections are made at specific times and NRCS has extended the next sign-up deadline to April 16, 2021. 

Maryland currently offers RCPP in selected areas across the state through four projects that range in focus, from soil health, to precision ag, to grazing management. The following projects currently have funding available:

Achieving WIP Goals and Nutrient Management in Maryland: This project promotes a cost effective and nutrient effective solution to address manure management and related resource concerns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The overall project success will be based on reducing the best management practice (BMP) gap for the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and increasing NM regulation compliance in northern Maryland. Producers in Allegany, Baltimore, Cecil, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, and Washington counties who are interested in Waste Storage Facilities, Watering Facilities, and Fencing are encouraged to apply.

Grazing for Water Quality & Soil Health: In partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, this multi-state RCPP project seeks to increase the adoption of complementary practices like livestock stream exclusion, off-stream watering, and forested buffers in the northern tier counties in Maryland to reduce nutrients and sediment runoff and help with the Chesapeake Bay clean-up. Producers located in Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties interested in pasture intensive Prescribed Grazing, Forage and Biomass Planting, Watering Facilities, and Fencing are encouraged to visit their local USDA Service Center to apply.

Chesapeake Bay Farm Stewardship and Preservation: Offered in partnership with Sustainable Chesapeake, this project is accelerating the adoption of precision nutrient management and soil health practices in Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties. Practices available include precision nutrient management with an increased payment cap, multi-species cover crops, poultry mortality freezers, grassed waterways, drainage water management, and saturated buffers.

Taking Soil Health in Maryland to the Next Level: This project supports conservation practices on mid-shore farms to enhance soil health and improve both air and water quality. Offered in partnership with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, this funding opportunity is available to producers in Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties. Conservation practices available include adaptive nutrient management, cover crops, residual and tillage management, precision farming, composting, forest and biomass planting and other practices supportive of soil health.

Landowners interested in applying for program funding should call their local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment with NRCS staff. Visit farmers.gov for USDA service center locations. State-specific program information is available on the NRCS Maryland website at www.md.nrcs.usda.gov.

 

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