SOMERSET, June 10, 2014 – New Jersey State Conservationist Carrie Mosley has announced one last sign-up period for the 2014 Soil Health Initiative offered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Mosley designated $400,000 of the 2014 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding available in New Jersey to agricultural producers for the planning and implementation of multi-species cover crop. “Contracts have already been awarded this year to producers who applied during the first three application periods of the Initiative. Since we still have funds available, and we are committed to helping as many New Jersey farmers as possible to get the soil health benefits of multi-species cover crop, we are opening one last sign-up period,” Mosley said. Applicants who are eligible for EQIP are encouraged to apply by July 18 to be considered for funding this year.
Conservation practices that support soil health, like no-till and nutrient management, are available through the Initiative as companion practices.
NRCS has identified four principles as useful for improving soil health:
Keep soil covered as much as possible.
Use a variety of cover crop plant species to increase diversity in the soil.
Keep living roots in the soil as long as possible.
Disturb the soil as little as possible.
Visit a local NRCS office or the NJ NRCS website (www.nj.nrcs.usda.gov) for more about NRCS and conservation programs available in the Garden State.