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Gov. Hogan honors century farm in Warwick

WARWICK — Louisa’s Place has been added to the list of Century Farms in Maryland, joining the ranks of farming operations that have spanned more than 100 years.

Louisa Pleasanton said her farm on Middleneck Road in Warwick is one of four farms owned by her family still in operation and the second of those to receive the Century Farm designation. She nominated Crawford Farms, owned by her brother, for the award in 1999.

A year ago she filed the paperwork to get her own farm on the list. While she received the confirmation and a sign for the front yard in 2017, only recently did Maryland officially announce the award to nine farms in six counties.

“We are proud to celebrate our state’s strong agricultural history by honoring our century farms, as well as some of our great Maryland farm families,” Gov. Larry Hogan said at a ceremony held Wednesday in Annapolis.

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USDA awards conservation grant to Md.

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Agriculture has been awarded a $1 million Regional Conservation Partnership Program grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The grant will be used to support the installation of conservation practices on Maryland farms that enhance soil health, improve air quality, and safeguard water quality. The duration of the grant is five years.

The Maryland grant proposal, titled “Taking Soil Health to the Next Level,” seeks to move the state beyond its robust Cover Crop Program to promote a variety of healthy soil practices that allow farmers to gain experience using the latest technological advances.

“We are excited by this opportunity to utilize and demonstrate a suite of soil health practices on Maryland farm fields,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The project will go a long way towards fulfilling the state’s Healthy Soils initiative and improving natural resource management.”

Conservation practices funded by the grant include adaptive nutrient management, cover crops, crop rotations, variable rate technology for applying nutrients, residual and tillage management crop rotations, precision farming, edge-of-field tools to identify and reduce agricultural sources of excess nutrients, composting, forest and biomass plantings, and other practices that support and enhance soil health. The practices approved by this grant have been shown to increase organic matter in the soil, reduce soil erosion, promote nutrient cycling, improve water retention, and reduce competition from weeds and pests.

In addition to supporting the installation of selected conservation practices, the grant will fund a series of farmer-to-farmer education workshops, three demonstration projects at participating farms, and technical assistance to employ adaptive nutrient management strategies. The grant funds will be targeted to farmers in Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. Soil conservation districts from each of these counties will promote and provide technical assistance for this project. In addition, the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology is partnering on the project and will assist with adaptive nutrient management and soil health measurement protocols and tools.


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