SOMERSET, N.J. — Funding is available for farmers in the Black River Greenway to implement projects and practices to improve local soil and water quality. The New Jersey Conservation Foundation established a Regional Conservation Partnership Program agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding has been set aside to support conservation efforts in this area, which includes portions of Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties. In addition, EQIP funding is available for projects that include forestry practices in the Fox Hill area of Tewksbury Township. The application period for this RCPP-EQIP funding will be open through May 3.
Once enrolled in EQIP, farmers in this watershed can also apply for supplemental funding for water quality practices through the New Jersey Water Supply Authority’s Ag Mini-Grant program.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program is a voluntary conservation program open to all eligible agricultural producers, including those who manage livestock, forestry and/or organic production. The program supports conservation practices that have a positive environmental impact and protect long term agricultural production and sustainability. NRCS professionals can work with producers to develop a conservation plan for their operation, design conservation practices, and provide guidance to help implement the plan. Through EQIP, conservation payments are available to help with the cost of implementation of planned conservation practices.
Practices that may be eligible for funding include:
- Diversions and waterways that provide erosion control,
- Fencing to exclude livestock from streams,
- Manure management systems to prevent nutrients and bacteria from entering waterways and
- Cover crops to improve soil health and prevent soil erosion.
Farmers who operate in the Black River Greenway are encouraged to contact USDA-NRCS to determine their eligibility for this funding.
- For locations in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, contact USDA-NRCS in Frenchtown at 908-782-4614, ext. 3.
- For locations in Morris County, contact USDA-NRCS in Hackettstown at 908-852-2576, ext. 3.
- For information regarding the New Jersey Water Supply Authority’s Ag Mini-Grant program, contact Dan Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-483-2361.
— USDA NRCS