Article - Agriculture
(a) (1) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Healthy soils” means the continuing capacity of soil to:
(i) Function as a biological system;
(ii) Increase soil organic matter;
(iii) Improve soil structure and water and nutrient holding capacity; and
(iv) Sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
(3) “Program” means the Maryland Healthy Soils Program.
(b) There is a Maryland Healthy Soils Program.
(c) The purpose of the Program is to:
(1) Improve the health, yield, and profitability of the soils of the State;
(2) Increase biological activity and carbon sequestration in the soils of the State by promoting practices based on emerging soil science, including planting mixed cover crops, adopting no–till or low–till farming practices, and rotation grazing; and
(3) Promote widespread use of healthy soils practices among farmers in the State.
(d) To carry out the purposes of the Program, the Department shall:
(1) Provide incentives, including research, education, technical assistance, and, subject to available funding, financial assistance, to farmers to implement farm management practices that contribute to healthy soils; and
(2) Determine whether the Program may be implemented in a manner to enhance other State and federal programs that provide financial assistance to farmers.