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About Maryland's Nutrient Management Program

The Nutrient Management Program protects water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries by ensuring that farmers and urban land managers apply fertilizers, animal manure and other nutrient sources in an effective and environmentally sound manner.

Agricultural Nutrient Management 

Enforcement specialist and farmerFarmers are required to follow nutrient management plans when fertilizing crops and managing animal waste. These plans specify how much fertilizer, manure or other nutrient sources may be safely applied to crops to achieve yields and prevent excess nutrients from impacting waterways. Nutrient management plans generally are required for all agricultural land used to produce plants, food, feed, fiber, animals or other agricultural products. Click here to learn more.

Turfgrass Nutrient Management 

Maryland's Lawn Fertilizer Law requires lawn care professionals to be licensed and certified by MDA to apply turf fertilizer to properties that they manage or work under the direct supervision of someone who is certified. MDA, and the University of Maryland, provide training and testing for lawn care professionals. In addition, both lawn care professionals and homeowners are required to obey fertilizer application restrictions, observe fertilizer blackout dates, use best management practices and follow University of Maryland recommendations when fertilizing lawns. Click here to learn more.