Conservation Programs

Best Management Practices are techniques that balance ecology and technology to create a farm that is successful, while minimizing the environmental costs. Typical Best Management Practices try to reduce soil loss, improve water quality, promote biodiversity or keep our air clean. Many of them have benefits closer to home; they can increase production of our profits and reduce the costs of farming.

Applying for Programs:

For technical assistance with installing practices, or application assistance for Cost-Share or financial assistance programs, please contact Calvert Soil Conservation District and ask to speak to a Conservation Farm Planner. 

Programs Available:

  • Cost-Share or financial assistance Programs
  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) & Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
  • Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program (MACS)
  • Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
    • Funds will be available in the future

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) & Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a voluntary program for farmers to convert environmentally sensitive farmland into riparian forest, grass buffers, or wetlands. Landowners who enroll in CREP agree to take certain crop fields, or portions of crop fields, out of production and to plant selected trees or grasses to be maintained for a period of time ranging from 10-15 years. Participants receive annual rental payments from the USDA based on the agricultural land value throughout the contract period duration. Cost-Share payments may also be available to help establish the practices, like installing permanent cover. 

Conservation Plans

Plans are written to promote natural resources conservation and agricultural productivity. Plans can be written for grain, fruit, vegetable, livestock, horse, oyster and nursery operations. Conservation plans also fulfill requirements for agricultural preservation programs and are required by the various cost share programs.

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance provides help with improving the quality of natural resources for agricultural properties in a scientific manner. We help to survey, design and inspect the installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and management systems to address concerns including erosion, soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat, grazing, invasive species and waste storage.

Financial Assistance

Programs exist to help offset the costs associated with implementing BMPs, which may include fencing, livestock heavy use areas, water troughs, cover crops, pollinator planting, grassed waterways and more. All programs require an application, eligibility determination, and a current Conservation Plan.

Nutrient Management

Participants of MACS cost-share programs must certify that the agricultural operation associated with the cost-share practice(s) is following a current Nutrient Management Plan to the extent required by COMAR 15.20.07. This form must be submitted to the local Soil Conservation District office when applying to the MACS Program.

Click on the button below to download a Nutrient Management Form.