SPARKS, Md. (AP) - Maryland has approved a record 607,000 acres of winter grains so far in the state's cover crop program.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance joined agricultural leaders and farmers made the announce today.
A record 1,860 farmers are participating in the program, and 152 of them are new to the initiative this year.
The record acreage represents 170 percent of the current two-year goals of the watershed implementation plan for cover crops.
A record 429-thousand acres of cover crops were planted this past fall and exceeds to goal set for 2013.
Governor Martin O’Malley hailed the new figures, saying that this demonstrates Maryland farmers are taking the lead in protecting the Chesapeake Bay and the region’s quality.
Cover crops are one of the key ways the state reduces nutrient runoff and soil erosion.