University of Maryland Extension agents and Maryland Healthy Soils Program Partners on Maryland’s Eastern Shore will demonstrate how custom-designed cover crop mixes can help farmers address field-specific agronomic concerns and realize multiple benefits from their cover crop program.

This project is especially timely for farmers working to implement the Phosphorus Management Tool who are seeking alternative sources of nitrogen and organic matter.

The project also complements funding from USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Million Acre Challenge aimed at increasing adoption of conservation practices that improve soil health and reduce nutrient and sediment loss to surface waters.


Figure out your goals and purpose. What are you trying to accomplish? Focus on purpose and practicality first. Start small and try things out. See what works where you are and don’t be afraid to fail. No book on cover crops can teach you as much as growing them in the field.

— Sarah Hirsch, University of Maryland Extension Agent, Somerset County

Farmers Participating


Acres of site-specific, purposeful cover crops planted


University of Maryland Extension agents engaged in the project