Last December, the Crothers received the 2022 Maryland Leopold Conservation Award, which recognized their conservation efforts.
The Crothers partnered with an environmental group to plant 60,000 trees along a creek that feeds into a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. These reforestation projects are called riparian buffers, and protect streams from storm water runoff, reduce soil erosion and reduce greenhouse gases.
Among other conservation practices, Long Green Farms uses no-till, a type of farming where crops are planted directly into the field without clearing previous crop residue. This practice helps prevent soil from eroding off fields, which protects the nutrients in that soil as well as nearby waterways.
To further prevent soil erosion, the Crothers plant 300 acres of cover crops, like rye and triticale, that are grown to “cover” and protect the soil during times when primary crops, like corn and soybeans, are not growing.