Ag and Food Systems

Agriculture is the number one land use for Talbot County encompassing 62% of Talbot County’s 172,227 acres. Farming is crucial to the economy of the County and to the way of life of its residents. The foundation of agriculture in Talbot County is grains and continues to rank in the top 5 counties in Maryland for Corn, Soybean and Wheat production. Whole grain agriculture dominates, small farms and alternative enterprises have increased in popularity. Some of those include greenhouses, organic, specialty vegetables and equines. 

Agriculture Extension programs include:

  • Information on livestock and crops
  • Soil testing and recommendations
  • Farm business management and marketing
  • Nutrient management
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and pesticide certification 
  • Vegetables, lawns and more

Shannon Dill, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, coordinates the agriculture program in Talbot County.  Annual workshops and/or programs are offered such as the Talbot Agronomy Program including the Corn Club and Soybean Improvement Program, a Small Farm Course, Plant Clinics, Equine Basics Course, Grain Marketing and Direct Marketing. 

Certification classes are also available for Private Pesticide Applications and Nutrient Management Voucher Training. 

Resources

Nutrient Management

Farm profitability requires careful balancing of inputs to production outputs. Nutrient management plans have been developed for most crop, poultry and livestock operations in Talbot County. Manure is applied to crop fields according to tested levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Crops use these nutrients greatly reducing nutrient leaching and run-off to surface and ground water. Management plans have reduced or eliminated prepared fertilizer inputs and helped farmers use manure efficiently. With the passage of the Maryland Clean Water Improvement Act nutrient management plans have become mandatory for agriculture operations.

There are 63 agricultural producers in Talbot County who farm 33,930 acres that have had 393 plans done at a minimal cost to them. Farmers following nutrient management plans generally save money by using manure and fertilizer efficiently. Good nutrient planning not only adds up to more profits for farmers, but provides cleaner water in the Miles, Tred Avon, and Choptank Rivers.

For more information, contact Craig Yohn.

Nutrient Management Resources

Talbot Corn Club and Agronomy Program

Talbot Agronomy Program logo of yellow corn with green husk

The Talbot Agronomy Program has been active for over 60 consecutive years. This makes the Talbot Corn Club the oldest in the nation.

Each year, local farmers enter the contest. Entries are tabulated and the awards are given out at the annual banquet. Our annual program includes a keynote speaker, a crop report, and a weather summary. Sponsors are also recognized at this event.

Categories include:

  • Adult Corn
  • Youth Corn
  • Irrigated Corn
  • Full Season Beans
  • Double Crop Beans 

Local Organizations that Support Agriculture Activities