Maryland Grain Producers

Farmers raising food, fiber and renewable energy

Healthy Soil & Water

Conservation Initiatives

Best Management Practices

Maryland farmers protect the Bay every day ... from utilizing best management practices to planting wildlife buffers, farmers take care of the water and soil to ensure healthy resources are available for generations of families to come.

Reflecting the diversity of the Maryland topography, each farm requires its own nutrient management plan mandated by the state to determine what is best for its location, soil type, type of crop grown, and more. There are a variety of Best Management Practices to choose from to create the plan that is most effective for each farm. Further, farmers will create a soil conservation and water quality plan to prevent any significant sources of pollution from leaving the farm.

Other strategies that may be implemented include aimal waste management systems, conservation tillage, cover crops, manure transport, precision agriculture, riparian forest and grass buffers, stream protection, and more.

Steve Ernst, first farmer certified in FSCAP

Bay Model Progress

The results of the 2013 Bay Model progress run have been released and Maryland agriculture is doing great! We have already surpassed the 2017 interim goal for sediment loss reduction and have nearly achieved the 2017 goals for nitrogen and phosphorous reduction. Thanks to the hard work and conservation efforts of our farmers, agriculture as a sector is outpacing other sectors such as septic and urban storm water in reaching our goals.  Read Summary


Agricultural Certainty Program

In 2013, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to establish a voluntary Agricultural Certainty Program that will give Maryland farmers a 10-year exemption from new environmental laws and regulations in return for installing best management practices in order to meet local or Chesapeake Bay Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL) goals ahead of schedule. The program allows participating farmers to conduct business in a predictable regulatory setting, while providing certainty that agricultural pollution controls are being implemented. Farmers must control all nutrient and sediment problems on farms using a Soil Conservation and Water Quality​ Plan and a current Nutrient Management Plan.  Read More


Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program

The Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP) acknowledges those farmers who are good stewards of their natural resources and encourages and rewards farmers to put more conservation best management practices (BMPs) on the land. The project has established the Agricultural Conservation Stewardship Certification Standard, which measures compliance with state requirements for the farm's nutrient management plan plus a level of conservation BMPs that prevent any significant sources of pollution from leaving the farm. The FSCAP program is acknowledged and respected by both the environmental and agricultural communities. The program encourages other to achieve certification and participate in new conservation programs that will put more conservation on the land and reduce pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.   Read More