News

Funds for on-farm conservation available to farmers in Black River Greenway

Oct 21, 2020

SOMERSET – Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding has been set aside to support conservation efforts in the Black River Greenway Area, which includes portions of Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

The funding is available through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) agreement between the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA- NRCS). The application period for this RCPP-EQIP funding will be open through November 20, 2020. Two virtual information meetings will be held for producers on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and Monday, Nov. 2.

EQIP 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. 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 Agricultural Cost-Share program.

Practices that may be eligible for funding include:

  • Fencing to exclude livestock from streams;
  • Manure management systems to prevent nutrients and bacteria from entering waterways,
  • Riparian buffer plantings to protect streams;
  • Diversions and waterways that provide erosion control;
  • 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 Cost-Share program, contact Dan Reynolds at daniel.reynolds@usda.gov or 908-483-2361.

Visit the RCPP: Black River Greenway-Soil and Water Protection web page for more information on this opportunity.

Virtual Informational Meetings

Information about eligible projects, the application process for EQIP and the agricultural cost-share program will be presented at virtual informational meetings held October 27, 2020 at 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., and November 2, 2020 at 7:30 – 9:30 pm. Participants will be able to join the meetings via the links below, or by dialing into the teleconference line and entering the Meeting ID and Passcode when prompted.

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By Michele S. Byers,
Executive Director