SOMERSET, N.J. — New Jersey’s State Conservationist Carrie Lindig with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is encouraging agricultural producers and forest land managers to contact their local NRCS office to plan conservation activities for their operations for next year. Applications for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, EQIP Conservation Activity Plans and EQIP Initiatives submitted to local NRCS offices by Aug. 30 will be considered for Fiscal Year 2020 funding.
“In past years, we accepted applications through October,” Lindig said. “This year, we are closing the application period in August to get contracts signed and planning underway so there is ample time for implementation in the summer of 2020.”
NRCS soil conservationists are available to help New Jersey private land managers assess the natural resources on their property and suggest conservation practices that could be planned and implemented with NRCS assistance. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities. Initiatives in New Jersey include the Golden Winged Warbler Initiative in north Jersey and the National Water Quality Initiative in south Jersey.
EQIP can help producers address issues such as animal waste management, efficient irrigation, erosion control, improving soil health, wildlife habitat improvement and more by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.
“Last year NRCS provided over $5.4 million in EQIP financial assistance to New Jersey producers,” Lindig said. “As we anticipate similar funding allocations for FY2020, we are hoping that more eligible New Jersey landowners and managers will take advantage of the opportunities available through NRCS’s voluntary conservation programs.”
NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers address resource concerns through conservation programs authorized by the Farm Bill. NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round. Applications are processed when funding becomes available. Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center and the NJ NRCS website (www.nj.nrcs.usda.gov) for more information.
— USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service