Sustainable Farms in Maryland
Maryland's farms play an important role in creating a resilient and local food supply. Many farmers are incorporating more sustainable practices to improve their stewardship of the land and waters of our state.
Pollinator Protection Act of 2016: The legislation that was passed in 2016 needs a technical fix! The legislation was intended to restrict the sale of neonicotinoid pesticides to only registered pesticide applicators, but it has been interpreted to allow stores that sell to registered pesticide applicators to ALSO sell to the public. HB208 would clarify that only certified applicators or farmers may purchase neonicotinoid pesticides.
Smart Solar Siting: Solar energy can be an amazing tool to reduce greenhouse gases and provide clean energy, but unfortunately it is a new development pressure that can displace Maryland farmers. Throughout the state, the solar industry has targeted farmland as an ideal place to build, outcompeting farmers who need acres of land to maintain their economic viability. While framed as providing a new source of revenue for farmers, farmers and landowners are not necessarily the same group of people. So while a solar lease may give the landowner a new source of revenue, it is by displacing the previously leasing farmer. Clean Water Action supports a comprehensive solar siting plan to evaluate how much farmland has to be displaced to meet clean energy goals, and to drive the development to already disturbed lands: rooftops, parking lots, brownfields, and other similar lands. Other states, like New Jersey, have undertaken similar planning processes to minimize the impact on productive farmland.