University of Maryland Extension


Southern Maryland is a unique place, possessing an abundance of natural resources and a strong agricultural heritage. Located on the southern tip of Maryland’s western shore, St. Mary’s County is situated 70 miles south of Washington DC., surrounded by the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. The landscape of St. Mary’s County has been comprised of a mosaic of small farms since its inception in 1633. Agriculture has been a mainstay of the region’s economy and culture for many years.  There are a total of 615 farms and 61,803 acres of farm land in St. Mary’s County.

St. Mary’s County is home to a variety of agricultural enterprises, including tobacco, row crops, vegetables, greenhouse and nursery crops, as well as hay and livestock. Agriculture has experienced a significant amount of recent change as farmers adopt enterprises that allow them to remain profitable and sustain operations.

University of Maryland Extension strives to provide the practical tools and information that farmers need to adapt to such changes. Using non-biased, research-based information and the network of extension agents and specialists throughout the state, farmers have direct access to the latest technology, marketing, and production information.

The Extension Educator for Agricultural Sciences for St. Mary’s County is Ben Beale.  His main programming efforts include assisting growers with vegetable and small fruit production, grain and tobacco production, and alternative crop development. Most recently, he has been involved in programming to help farmers manage herbicide resistant weeds and the creation of a beginning farmer program in Maryland. His current research projects include small fruit cultivar evaluation trials, high tunnel tomato ASD efficacy, and several efficacy trials for control of herbicide resistant weeds.

Need help with an agricultural issue or have a question?  Please give Ben a call at 301-465-4484 or email

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