ANNAPOLIS - Due to poor weather and saturated soil conditions, the Maryland Department of Agriculture has extended the planting deadline for farmers who have signed up to plant cover crops this fall with the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program.
Farmers now have until Nov. 16 to plant rye, barley, wheat and triticale on their crop fields. They must certify the acreage planted with their local soil conservation districts by Nov. 23 in order to be reimbursed by the program for associated seed, labor and equipment costs.
For more more information, farmers should visit their local soil conservation district office or contact the MACS office at 410-841-5864.
The majority of program funding comes from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund with additional support from the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund.
"Many of our farmers planted their summer crops late due to an unusually wet spring. Recent rains have delayed harvests and as a result, farmers have not been able to plant their cover crops as early as planned," said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. "Extending the planting deadline provides farmers enrolled in our Cover Crop Program with the opportunity to plant more acres so that we can achieve maximum water quality benefits for the streams and rivers that feed the Chesapeake Bay."