State Soil Conservation Committee Meeting Set For December 17

The State Soil Conservation Committee will meet on Thursday, December 17, at 9:30 a.m. at the Maryland Farm Bureau, 3358 Davidsonville Road, Davidsonville, MD 21035. The meeting is open to the public and will focus on soil conservation and water quality program implementation and policy development. Established in 1938, the State Soil Conservation Committee coordinates the activities of Maryland’s 24 soil conservation districts, while advising the Secretary of Agriculture on matters relating to soil and water conservation. For more information, contact Louise Lawrence, Executive Secretary, and 410.841.5863.

Lawn Fertilizer Blackout Dates Now in Effect

The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds citizens that lawn fertilizer blackout dates authorized by Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law are now in effect. The law prohibits citizens and lawn care professionals from applying nitrogen and phosphorus to lawns until March 1, when cool season grasses emerge from winter dormancy and can benefit from nutrient applications. Applying fertilizer to hard or frozen ground increases the risk for nutrient runoff into the storm drains that feed the Chesapeake Bay.  Excess nutrients have been shown to contribute to the growth of harmful algae blooms that rob the bay of oxygen. To further protect water quality, the law prohibits citizens from using fertilizer to de-ice walkways and driveways. For more information on Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law, visit

Continuing Education Classes Offered for Certified Professional Fertilizer Applicators

Certified professional fertilizer (turfgrass) applicators seeking to renew their certifications should visit the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s website at for a list of upcoming recertification training classes.  Certificates are valid through June 30 of each year and may be renewed annually for a $100 fee and verification of two hours of annual recertification training. Training offered by the department and University of Maryland Extension is provided free of charge. Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law requires lawn care professionals be certified by the department’s Nutrient Management Program or work under the direct supervision of an individual who is certified. The department maintains a list of certified and licensed lawn care professionals on its website at

Taste of Maryland Agriculture Event Set for February 4

The Maryland Agriculture Council will host its annual Taste of Maryland Agriculture Dinner Thursday, February 4, at Michael’s Eighth Avenue, 7220 Grayburn Drive in Glen Burnie. The event features a bounty of Maryland agricultural products that will be served throughout the evening. The event is designed to educate lawmakers about the importance of agriculture to all Maryland citizens. Inductees to the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame will be honored during the evening and Maryland Agriculture Council grants will be presented.  Tickets are $100 per person before January 10 and $125 after this date. Contact Gail Yeiser at 301.405.2434 for reservation information. For more information on the council or event, contact Susan Summers at 240.446.3601. Additional information and reservation forms can be found at

Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Directory Available

Now is the time to find that perfect tree. The Maryland Department of Agriculture encourages citizens to buy fresh cut, locally grown Christmas trees, rather than artificial trees or those grown out of state. Visit for a Choose and Cut Farm Directory and information on tree varieties and tree care.