Cover Crop program seeks participants

The Baltimore Sun

Farmers who plant cover crops this fall to help reduce soil erosion and protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries may apply for cost-share grants of up to $50 an acre through the Maryland Department of Agriculture's 2007-2008 Winter Cover Crop program.

Sign up will be held tomorrow through June 29 at local soil conservation district offices.

The earlier a crop is planted, the higher the reimbursement rate: $50 if planted by Oct. 1, $40 by Oct. 15 and $30 by Nov. 5. Farmers may plant from 5 to 700 acres and cannot harvest traditional cover crops.

A Commodity Cover Crop program is for farmers who want to harvest their cover crop, up to 250 acres. Crops must be planted by Nov. 5 to receive $20 an acre.

A hulless barley program also is being offered to develop a feedstock for a future ethanol plant. Only certain crops are eligible with state requirements.

The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share program administers the Cover Crop program. Applicants must be in good standing with the program and in compliance with Nutrient Management Program requirements to participate.

Information: 410-848-2780.

Entries sought for essay contest

The Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair will hold its Grandparent Essay Contest for students in kindergarten through 12th grade for this year's annual fair.

Essays should tell why your grandparent(s) is better than any other grandparent in Carroll County.

Winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Carroll County Agricultural Center in Westminster.

Criteria for essays include: K-5th grade, 50-75 words; 6th-8th grade, 75-100 words; and 9th- 12th grade, 100-150 words.

Essay writers must be present at the fair and live in Carroll County or be a member of the Carroll County 4-H program. The grandparent does not need to live in Carroll County. (No posthumous awards.)

Deadline for entries is July 5.

Anyone with a disability that requires assistance for participation in the contest should call the 4-H office by June 22.

Entries should be mailed to Grandparent Essay Contest, 700 Agriculture Center, Westminster, Md. 21157, ATTN: Cheryl Hill.

Information: 410-386-2760.

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