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News Release

New Soil Health Initiative for 2014 Conservation Program

Gsil Bartok, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs

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SOMERSET, January 21, 2014 – New Jersey State Conservationist Carrie Mosley has introduced a Soil Health Initiative, designating $400,000 of the 2014 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds for the planning and implementation of multi-species cover crop. Other practices that support soil health, like no-till and nutrient management, are available through the Initiative as companion practices. Agricultural producers who are eligible for EQIP can apply for this Initiative offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“Producers who apply for the Initiative during the current funding period and meet the EQIP criteria will be given priority to be funded this year,” Mosley said. The current application period for EQIP closes February 21.

NRCS has identified four principles as useful for improving soil health:

  1. Keep soil covered as much as possible.
  2. Use plant diversity to increase diversity in the soil.
  3. Keep living roots in the soil as long as possible.
  4. Disturb the soil as little as possible.

“We hope New Jersey farmers will visit their local NRCS office to learn more about what we can offer them through EQIP and the new Soil Health Initiative,” Mosley said. Visit the NRCS website for more about NRCS and conservation programs available in the Garden State.