Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced Thursday the launch of a one-time grant program to help local farmers with rising fertilizer costs.
Gardner said the county will award $20 per acre for verified fertilizer purchases. Applications for the Farmer Relief Grant Scheme will be accepted from June 15 to July 15.
Supply chain disruptions from the pandemic and war in Ukraine have caused fertilizer costs to “skyrocket” and forced farmers to spend more than double what they paid for fertilizers l last year, Gardner said during a press briefing.
“Rising prices have led farmers to leave their fields fallow to decide not to plant at all, which will potentially lead to further food shortages, price escalations and price escalations that we will see next spring as consumers” , said Gardner. “So it’s very important that farmers in Frederick County can continue to farm.”
To be eligible for a grant, a farming business must be located in the county and in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service, the state of Maryland and the county government, Gardner said. Only full-time farmers can apply.
To fund the program, the county set aside $2.4 million from the U.S. federal bailout law, which Congress passed to help state, local and municipal governments in their long-term recovery from the pandemic. . Frederick County received $50 million.
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