Land Protection


cover cropsMaryland farmers have surpassed the 2015 Goal for planting cover crops.

  • Planted after the fall harvest, cover crops help to absorb unused plant nutrients that remain in the soil and prevent erosion over the winter months. Cover cropsimprove soil productivity and protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  *MDA
  • Irrigation allows farmers to apply specific nutrients to certain areas of their crops as they grow through the season.  This enables the crop to utilize all the nutrients and virtually eliminate the risk associated with a drought.  Research has proven irrigated crops actually mine the soil of nutrients, thus helping reduce the legacy phosphorous issues. *MDA
  • Nutrient Management plans reduce the potential for nutrients to wash or infiltrate into water supplies and protect Bay water quality by preventing over-application of commercial fertilizers and animal manure. *MDA
  • Nutrient Management plans are tested and updated every three years to stay current with farmland and scientific research. These plans were mandated by the state in 1998, under Governor Paris Glendening. *MDA
  • Maryland had one of the first agricultural land preservation easement programs. For many years MD was noted as having the most acres of preserved farmland, currently about 292,357 acres. *MDA