February 21, 2020
This program would make grants available for voluntary projects that increase carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reductions on farms throughout Maryland. The program would promote dozens of wide-ranging practices that are known to build soil health and sequester carbon—ensuring that farmers are best positioned to fight climate change.
These beneficial practices will be evaluated by using USDA/NRCS’s COMET-Planner, and other new and emerging, peer-reviewed quantification tools.
Some of the eligible practices incentivized under the Healthy Soils Grant Program include rotational grazing, minimizing synthetics, conversion of cropland to pasture, reducing disturbance (i.e. no-till or low-till), and planting permanent trees, shrubs, and other plants.
Some of the benefits of the Healthy Soils Grant Program:
- Encourages farmers to play an active role in mitigating climate change by implementing practices that are known to sequester carbon
- On-farm practices that are known to combat climate change are also known for building soil health. By building healthier soils on farms, farmers will also achieve:
- Reduced storm-water water runoff
- Reduced production costs
- Increased crop yields
- Improved wildlife and pollinator habitat
- Reduced risk of flooding (increased water filtration)
- Increased biodiversity