Because Maryland’s environmental health is uniquely dependent upon the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the Old Line State has numerous state-, county-, and local-specific regulations for agricultural producers. While these rules can seem exhaustive, we have compiled a list of resources to help the Maryland farmer ensure regulatory compliance.
Maryland Department of Agriculture
The Maryland Department of Agriculture issued a 2016 report on its Nutrient Management Program, which seeks to protect the Chesapeake from fertilizers and manure: http://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/counties/2016NMPAnnual_Final.pdf
The MDA also published another 2016 report detailing the specific requirements, both within the NMP and otherwise:
Farms located close to streams or rivers have a special responsibility to prevent runoff, both from manure and fertilizer. Here’s what the MDA recommends in order to protect the environment as well as your livestock:
The MDA’s Guide to Environmental Permits explains the permitting and licensing process for various farm designations, including animal feeding requirements and organic certification:
The Maryland Department of the Environment recommends that every farm develop an individualized Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plan as a best practice:
Farmers Market Permits
The Maryland Farmers Market Association has created a county-by-county archive of necessary permits for selling agricultural goods:
Howard County Farmers
For Howard County farmers, the Economic Development Agency has its own county-specific list:
If you are a prospective first-time farmer, the University of Maryland’s extension has a checklist of necessary certificates and permits to obtain:
For further information, your local soil conservation district office is the top resource available. Here’s the statewide directory of those offices:
Hopefully this will be useful to you in complying with the state’s rules and regulations! If you have any extra resources to add, please contact us and let us know.