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Applications now being received for Healthy Soils Competitive Fund

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is now accepting grant applications for its new Healthy Soils Competitive Fund. This unique program provides financial assistance to qualifying farmers and organizations to adopt conservation practices that benefit the climate, soil, and water.Maryland farmers and organizations with innovative conservation ideas are encouraged to apply for these grants.

Successful applicants will receive up to $50,000 to support 3 years of enhanced healthy soil practices. Funds are available to farmers or organizations that want to manage the following practices in innovative ways: 

Cover Crops

Conservation Tillage

Pasture and Hay Planting

Conservation Cover 

Critical Area Planting

Conservation Crop Rotation

Nutrient Management

Integrated Pest Management 

​​​​The following Agroforestry practices are also available for funding:

​Alley Cropping

Hedgerow Planting​

Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment


Tree and Shrub Establishment

​Grants provided by the Healthy Soils Competitive Fund may also be used to purchase equipment that supports the adoption of soil health practices. In addition, the grants cover research and administrative costs for organizations that provide technical support to producers. 

Funding for Maryland’s Health Soils Competitive Fund is provided by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. Farm size is not a consideration for grant approval. There are no minimum or maximum acreage requirements. Grant recipients will receive 20% of the funds upfront, with the remainder distributed annually upon verification of progress.

This program was developed based on recommendations of Maryland’s Soil Health Advisory Committee. Grant applications are available on the website. They should be submitted to MDA by 5 p.m. on March 3, 2023. Grant recipients will be notified by April 30, 2023. 

For more information, please get in touch with Kevin Antoszewski at or 410-841-5866. 

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