University of Maryland Extension

Agriculture in Somerset County



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Agriculture and natural resources are crucial to Maryland’s economy, environment and way of life of its residents. From the food we eat, to the flowers and plants in our homes, the landscaping of our yards, valuable real estate, beautiful coastal waters and fine recreational hunting all relate to the state’s agricultural land use.

Over two million acres are farmed in Maryland by a variety of crops, livestock and industries.  Commodities such as corn grain, soybeans and wheat feed poultry and livestock. Vegetable and fruit crops are grown in the local season for wholesale, retail and farmers markets. The nursery and greenhouse industry supplies residents, businesses and urban areas with plants, shrubs and trees.

The University of Maryland Extension is a source of research based agriculture technical information and is provided through various fact sheets, workshops, field days, one on one consultations and educational seminars. Major educational programs focus on commercial vegetable, fruit and field crop production; nursery and greenhouse production; nutrient management; integrated pest management; safety training for pesticide license certification; risk management; pasture and livestock management.

For more information about agriculture in Maryland click here.

Click on any of the agriculture programs listed below to find out more information:

Agriculture in Somerset County

Somerset County is the southernmost county in Maryland's Eastern Shore. Only 26% of the land-base is classified as agricultural, however, agriculture is the largest industry in the County. Approximately 286 farm businesses encompass 65,212 acres of farmland with the average farm size of 228 acres. Production of corn, soybeans, broilers, vegetables and livestock rank Somerset County 3rd in agriculture value for the State of Maryland.  Somerset County ranks #1 in the state for broiler production, making it a leader in broiler poultry production.

Various agricultural programs are offered throughout the year.  The Somerset County Extension Agricultural Agent maintains routine contact and collaborates with outside agencies and civic organizations such the Somerset County Soil Conservation District, Somerset County Farm Bureau, Somerset County Young Farmers, and Somerset County Fair Board. Each year the Somerset County Fair features a wide variety of educational material and information on Agriculture in Somerset County and throughout Maryland. There are many items in the display available to the public, such as contact information, numerous fact sheets, soil test kits for field and home and garden, and information for agricultural producers and homeowners.

In addition to the strong agriculture community within the county, the many waterways meandering throughout Delmarva shape the landscape of the county.   With its many waterways, Somerset County supports a diverse population of wildlife that includes upland game, migratory waterfowl to oceanic species.  The county supports many acres of wetlands.  Somerset County is proud to offer many public state lands for hunting, including Deal Island WMA especially famous for waterfowl hunting. 

For more information on local agriculture, contact your county Extension Office.

If you have questions about agriculture on the Lower Eastern Shore, contact our local agriculture staff:

Extension Agriculture Educator:  Sarah Hirsh, 410 651-1350

Agriculture Agent Associate, Maegan Perdue, 410-632-1972

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