Interesting Facts About Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve

One-third of Montgomery County, or 93,000 acres, is designated as the Agricultural Reserve. This unique area of contiguous farmland has special characteristics:

  • The zoning of the Agricultural Reserve (AR zone) limits development to one house per 25 acres;
  • 70,000 acres, or 75% of the land area within the Ag Reserve, is further protected through permanent easements that restrict residential, industrial, and commercial development;
  • 558 farms remain viable in a county with high development pressure and cost of living;
  • 454 farms produce table food crops or products, allowing county residents to enjoy locally produced food;
  • 10,000 horses provide competitive and recreational opportunities for County residents;
  • Views of thousands of acres of rural landscape enjoyed by tourists, bicyclists, hikers, artists, and other visitors

Montgomery County’s diverse agricultural industry is home to 558 farms, employs more than 10,000 people, and contributes $281 million to the County’s economy. AG Facts Below:

Commodity Grain Production: Grain farms (corn, wheat, soybeans, and barley) are the predominant agricultural use in the County, covering 34,526 acres. Much of the grain produced in Montgomery County goes to support Maryland’s poultry industry on the Eastern Shore and other livestock production in the region. In addition to this, wheat produced here is made into cookies, crackers, cakes, and bread products; corn may go toward ethanol production; and some barley is now going to local breweries for the production of beer.
Horticulture: Twenty percent of Maryland’s horticultural industry resides in Montgomery County, ranking us second in the State in total number of horticultural firms. This sector produces $154 million in gross sales annually. Horticultural enterprises include nurseries, landscaping/lawn care companies, arborists, sod farms, and greenhouse businesses.
Equine: Montgomery County is home to almost 10,000 horses, used for recreation, breeding, training, and sales. This represents a tremendous opportunity for local farmers in terms of the supplies, services, and products needed to support the horse population, which exceeds the population of all other livestock combined.
Livestock: There are approximately 375 livestock farming operations in the County raising beef, dairy, sheep, goats, poultry, hogs & pigs. Local dairy and meat products can be found at on-farm markets, regional city farmers markets, through community supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions, or at local retailers.

Food Producers: According to the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, there are 454 farms producing table food in Montgomery County. The County’s food producers are essential and continue to play a vital role providing fresh, local food to residents including those in need through the Farm 2 Foodbank program. See the latest Farm2Foodbank Impact Report HERE.

Environmental Data: Best Management Practices (BMP) by Montgomery County Farmers. These practices help the County’s agricultural sector meet its Watershed Implementation  (WIP) goals as mandated by the Maryland Department of the Environment. These BMPs also have the co benefit of reducing green house gas emissions.

Information and featured photo courtesy of Montgomery County’s Office of Agriculture.

Recent Stories

On Friday morning at 10:59 a.m., officers responded to Wells Fargo Bank at 750 Walker Road in Great Falls, VA for an armed bank robbery. The suspect entered the bank,…

Nearly a year ago we let you know that TJ Maxx, the discount department store that sells clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home décor would be one of Burtonsville Crossing’s new tenants…

  The Halal Guys at 522 N Frederick Ave in the Gaithersburg Square shopping center has permanently closed.

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police is asking for help naming the newest member of its K9 rescue unit.

AC Milan Soccer Camp at Maryland Soccerplex

AC Milan Academy is hosting a soccer camp at Maryland Soccerplex from March 1st through March 3rd for girls and boys aged 5 to 16 from any club who want to develop their soccer skills and learn the unique methodology of AC Milan directly from AC Milan coaches.

March 1st (Friday) 6pm-7:30pm

March 2nd (Saturday) 6pm-7:30pm

March 3rd (Sunday) 10:30am -12pm and 3:30pm-5pm

Location:18031 Central Park Cir, Boyds, MD 20841

Price: $349 + AC Milan Junior Camp Kit


Subscribe to our mailing list