Qualifying dairy farmers in Frederick and Washington counties can apply now for an upfront $200-per-acre incentive payment to help cover the cost of converting their existing feeding systems to a pasture-based forage system, officials said.
Benefits of the program include:
· Reducing operating costs
· Improving dairy herd health
· Reducing soil erosion
· Improving water quality
The money may be used to help farmers establish or enhance pastures, install watering systems, and install fences.
Participants may also apply for Maryland and federal cost-share assistance of up to 87.5 percent of the project's cost to install qualifying Best Management Practices through the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share and the USDA's Environmental Quality Incentive Program.