Extension agent consulting with farmer about cover crops
Updated: October 27, 2022

The University of Maryland Extension Seeks Farmer Collaborators for Bonus Cover Crop Program

The University of Maryland Extension is now offering a free service to consult with farmers to identify the top needs of their crop fields, and then plan and implement cover crops that will best address those needs. The grant-funded project will provide financial cost-share support for cooperating farmers. This support will complement the support provided by other cost-share programs, such as Maryland Department of Agriculture’s MACS program. 

To qualify for this program your farm must be located in one of the nine Eastern Shore counties: Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, or Worcester. Additionally, a grain crop should be in the crop rotation for fields to be considered eligible.

If eligible, participating farmers may receive payment of $40 to $75 per acre from the Maryland Department of Agriculture program. Different rates will be determined by species, and planting and termination dates. Additionally, participating farmers will receive an additional $30 per acre from this grant project for being a part of the University of Maryland Extension research efforts, and for trying innovative cover cropping approaches.

To sign up, fill out the intake form at https://go.umd.edu/bonuscovercropintake. To learn more about this program contact one of the following University of Maryland Agricultural Extension Agents. For the Lower Shore contact Sarah Hirsh (410-651-1350 / shirsh@umd.edu) or Haley Sater (410-749-6141 / hsater@umd.edu). For the Mid-Shore contact Jim Lewis (410-763-0130 / jlewis2@umd.edu) or Shannon Dill (410-822-1244 / sdill@umd.edu). For the Upper-Shore contact Jenny Rhodes (410-758-0166 / jrhodes@umd.edu). 

This program was made possible thanks to Sustainable Chesapeake, University of Maryland Extension, Future Harvest, Maryland Department of Agriculture, USDA NRCS, Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.