NRCS and Sustainable Chesapeake Looking to Help Lower-Shore Farmers Enhance Soil Health and Nutrient Management

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Annapolis, Md.– Farmers on the lower Maryland Eastern Shore can now apply for $2.6 million in funding from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement enhanced nutrient management and soil health practices in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. A portion of the funding will also be set aside for installation of poultry mortality freezers.

Offered in cooperation with Sustainable Chesapeake, this Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project seeks to improve water quality in local streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. Focal practices will include enhanced nutrient management, conservation practices that reduce erosion and improve soil health, such as multi-species cover crops and no-till, and mortality management.

Producers who receive services from the following USDA Service Centers may be eligible to participate in this project: Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester. Interested individuals should call or visit their local office to confirm eligibility and complete an application by March 15 to be considered for fiscal year 2019 funding.

Created in the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP empowers local leaders to work with a variety of partners to design conservation solutions that work best for their regions. Sustainable Chesapeake is the lead partner in this tri-state project focused on accelerating the adoption of precision nutrient management and soil health practices in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Maryland NRCS, the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the DE-MD 4R Alliance to bring these additional funding resources to farmers in the project area,” said Kristen Hughes Evans, Sustainable Chesapeake’s Executive Director. “With all the variability in weather and commodity crop prices that farmers deal with every year, the financial assistance programs that NRCS provides are critical to expanding the adoption of conservation practices that strengthen farm financial viability and protect natural resources.”

Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has worked in partnership with private landowners and a variety of local, state and federal conservation partners to deliver conservation based on specific, local needs. Local offices can be found by visiting offsite link image     or in the phone book under Federal Government, U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information on Maryland RCPP projects, visit