Source: Maryland Department Of Agriculture

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (June 3, 2011) — The State of Maryland has committed approximately $16 million for the 2011-2012 Cover Crop Program, which provides grants to farmers who plant cover crops in the fall to conserve nutrients, reduce soil erosion and protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Enrollment will take place June 21 to July 15, 2011, at local soil conservation district offices.

This year, farmers who plant traditional cover crops receive a base rate of $45 per acre, and up to $55 an acre in add-on incentives for using highly valued planting practices.

Traditional cover crops may not be harvested, but can be grazed or chopped for livestock forage for on-farm use after becoming well established.

Farmers who choose to harvest their cover crops receive $25 an acre, with a bonus payment of $10 an acre if rye is used as the cover crop.

Barley, canola, rapeseed, kale, rye, rygrass, spring oats, triticale and wheat planted in the fall of 2011 are eligible. Special incentives are available to farmers who plant rye.

Farmers should visit their local soil conservation district office to enroll. More information is available on MDA’s website at