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History of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) in New Jersey

History of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) in New Jersey

SunflowersThe 2002 Farm Bill established the Conservation Innovation Grants as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The program was continued under the 2008 Farm Bill. The grant program is offered to a diverse set of potential applicants, including state and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, and individuals to help field test, implement, and transfer innovative environmental solutions to natural resource problems.

Many exciting projects are underway in New Jersey as a result of CIG. The first NJ Conservation Innovation Grants were awarded in 2005.

 


2013 New Jersey Conservation Innovation Grant Awards

Laine Farms - $26,573

Use of Specialty Commodity Crop as Alternative on Land Used for and/or Considered for Biofuel Crops to Aid and Maximize Habitat Value for Grassland Dependent Bird Species

Laine Farms will work with New Jersey Audubon Society to pursue a 3-year project on the “” The project will include an analysis of spelt seeding rates to create suitable habitat for grassland dependent bird species targeting current New Jersey State-listed wildlife species, analysis of production cost/income of spelt as an alternate crop to production cost/income of native warm season grasses that are used for biofuel, identification of spelt market in New Jersey and evaluation of spelt yield based on seeding rates used to maximize habitat potential and evaluation of grassland bird habitat presence/abundance associated with spelt fields compared to native warm season grass fields.

New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team  (NJISST) - $43,045

APPlying New Strategies to Nip Invasive Species in the Bud

NJISST will pursue a two-year project with a goal is to facilitate improvements in the implementation of the Early Detection/Rapid Response (ED/RR) strategy used to stop the spread of emerging invasive species in New Jersey’s natural and agricultural systems and prevent the spread of invasive species into new areas. Two smartphone/tablet apps will be developed and made available to help small-scale producers easily and inexpensively identify and report invasive species they come across during the course of their everyday work and help them quickly and effectively initiate efforts to contain and/or eradicate the invasive species they detect.

2013 Program Material

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.


2012 Awards

Nature Conservancy (TNC)
$51,529
Prioritizing and promoting pollinator habitat projects in the Garden State

TNC will develop a means to prioritize and promote pollinator habitat projects in the Garden State by applying GIS technology combined with current ecological research and economic data. Social surveys will be used to field test the extent of knowledge about the issues related to this important habitat and barriers to addressing these issues. Marketing materials will be developed to solicit participants for implementing on-the-ground pollinator conservation work in a prioritized area.

Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA)
$12,230
Evaluation of in-stream restoration success on the Musconetcong

MWA will evaluate in-stream restoration successes at sites in the Musconetcong River. They will compare these sites to other stream restoration projects in the region, link monitoring findings to specific restoration methods, and develop a methods manual and a technical note for stream restoration projects.

Rutgers University
$34,501
Benefits of bats in controlling marmorated stink bug population

This project will demonstrate that bats can provide an important ecological service to New Jersey’s agricultural industry by controlling the new agricultural pest, the brown marmorated stink bug. Using DNA analysis of insect fragments in bat guano, they will attempt to show that bats can consume brown marmorated stink bugs and other agricultural pests in sufficient quantities to reduce the pest management costs for crops, such as apples, peaches, blueberries, cranberries, soybeans, and bell peppers. If successful, farmers will have a financial incentive to increase the habitat for cavity-roosting bats, a species experiencing steep declines due to White Nose Syndrome.

Rutgers University
$57,505
Effective use of energy monitoring on the farm

Rutgers will demonstrate how energy monitoring devices can be used to identify opportunities for improved energy efficiency in existing farm facilities. The project aims to educate producers and agricultural professionals in the selection, implementation and use of energy monitoring solutions. The project will provide comprehensive information on the pros and cons of the different technologies available for energy monitoring.

2012 Program Material

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

FY2012 NJ Announcement of Program Funding (321 kb)
SF424 - Application (30 kb)
SF424A - Budget Information (28 kb)
SF424B - Assurances (30 kb)


2011 Awards

Spectrum BioEnergy LLC
$44,160
Protection of Environmental Resources through the Implementation of High-Efficiency and Cost-Effective Anaerobic Digestion Waste-to-Energy Systems on Equine Farms

Spectrum BioEnergy will demonstrate the feasibility of using small-scale anaerobic digestion technology to convert horse manure into energy and soil nutrient for the purposes of: 1) manure management, 2) methane capture, 3) creation of renewable energy 4) reduction of ground water contamination and 5) odor management.

Atlantic County Board of Agriculture
$75,000
Demonstration and Evaluation of Conservation Systems Using Seasonal High Tunnels for Season Extension of New Jersey's Specialty Crops

This project will monitor, evaluate and demonstrate to New Jersey farmers the potential impacts of both single- and multi-bay commercial size high tunnels on nutrient, pest and irrigation management while also evaluating effective crop and cover crop rotations.

Rutgers University, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
$67,375
Soil quality improvement with leaf wastes combined with cover crops, rotations, and reduced tillage

This project aims to increase soil health and quality, utilize community organic waste streams, decrease energy-based farm input costs, decrease industrial nitrogen fertilizer use, reduce soil-borne disease and fungicide use. A leaf application practices guide will be developed with the ultimate goal in 10 years to double the number of NJ farmland acres receiving municipal collected leaves as a carbon/nutrient resource.

2011 Program Materials

The following documents require Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Excel 2007 or Adobe Acrobat pdf, as noted.
FY2011 NJ Announcement of Program Funding (272 kb - pdf)
Biannual Report Form (24 kb Word) or Biannual Report Form (14 kb pdf)


2010 Awards

D&R Greenway Land Trust
$75,000
Native Plant Seed Products for New York and New Jersey Area


D&R Greenway Land Trust will demonstrate and transfer to New Jersey small growers the technologies and practices necessary to produce deliverable native plant seed products to the NY-NJ area by piloting a cooperative three-year effort between grower, client (the market) and government.

2010 Program Materials

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat pdf, as noted.
FY2010 NJ Announcement of Program Funding (294 kb - pdf)
FY 2010 NJ Application Package Check List (15 kb - pdf)
Biannual Report Form (24 kb Word) or Biannual Report Form (14 kb pdf)


2009 Awards

Rutgers University
$32,204

Developing Science-Based Pollinator Restoration Protocols for use in Farm Bill Conservation Programs

Rutgers entomologists will examine selected native plants for use by native pollinators for various New Jersey agricultural crops. Technical recommendations for pollinator restoration plantings for use in USDA Farm Bill programs will be developed, job sheets on pollinator restoration will be produced and workshops for NRCS staff and agricultural producers will be held.

South Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council
$18,600
No-till Pumpkin Production Demonstration Proj
ect

No-till plots and conventional till plots will be established and results compared on two farms for the no-till pumpkin production demonstration project. Soil test analysis, data on cover crop species, seeding rates, seeding dates, soil moisture levels, yield data, and economic data will be assessed. Project results will be presented at meetings and in a fact sheet promoting this innovative conservation practice.

Rutgers University
 $74,907
Protection of Environmental Resources through the Implementation of Feed Management Best Management Practices on Equine Farms

Rutgers researchers will develop methodologies for implementing NRCS Practice 592 “Feed Management” on equine farms in New Jersey. The project will demonstrate feed management at two horse farms in targeted watersheds. Rutgers will produce facts sheets, and use field days to educate the equine public about Best Feed Management Practices.

New Jersey Audubon
$75,000
New Jersey Pine Barrens Ecological Forest Management

New Jersey Audubon will develop a new specialty wood product from forest biomass produced as a result of forest improvement activities in the Pine Barrens. A fact sheet on the new product will be produced. Avian and vegetation responses to forest management activities will be analyzed and reported.

2009 Program Materials

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.
FY2009 NJ Announcement of Program Funding (277 kb)
        - 2009 State Funding Opportunities
FY 2009 NJ Application Package Check List (16 kb)
Biannual Report Form (14 kb)

This is a Microsoft Excel file.
Form CPA-52 - Environmental Effects for Conservation Planning is required to be submitted with CIG proposals. This form can be used as a guide for the scope of environmental information required for the CIG application. Scroll down to "NRCS National" and to find instructions, forms and worksheets to assist you with the completion of the CPA-52. 


2008 Awards

Laine Farms
$75,000

A local warm season pelletizing facility will be developed in Somerset County to provide an alternate market for the warm-season grass crops in northern New Jersey. The use of the pellets to provide winter heating for agricultural structures will be further demonstrated in a partnership effort with New Jersey Audubon.

Rutgers. the State University of New Jersey
$61,193

Audit tools for use in energy-intensive horticultural and floriculture operations will be developed and tested by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Dr. Thomas Manning at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station will lead this project with a goal of discovering appropriate energy conservation measures that reduce total energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve agricultural efficiency.

Derwood Farms
$52,934

A local source of black-oil sunflowers for a “Jersey Grown” bird seed mix will be developed by Mark Kirby of Derwood Farms in partnership with New Jersey Audubon. The project will also include the use of an innovative bio-char product to enhance the soil condition in the sunflower fields in an effort to improve water quality and carbon sequestration.

New Jersey Audubon won the 2011 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for Land Conservation category for this partnership enterprise!

EnSave
$18,090

Up to five staff members from local Soil Conservation Districts and/or Resource Conservation and Development Councils will be recruited and trained to perform on-farm energy audits in New Jersey. As part of the  grant agreement, four audits will be conducted and energy saving strategies will be implemented on the audited farms.

2008 Program Materials

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.
FY2008 NJ Announcement of Program Funding (67 kb)
FY 2008 NJ Application Package Check List (19 kb)
Sample Completed Standard Form 424A (447 kb)
DUNS Number Application Information (23 kb)
Biannual Report Form (14 kb)


2007 Awards

Cumberland-Salem Soil Conservation District
$75,000

This project will help to implement precision agriculture on over 10,000 acres of cropland in southern New Jersey. The grantee is working with over thirty local growers testing the ability of precision agriculture tools to reduce nutrient and pesticide applications on their operations.

2007 Program Materials

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.
FY2007 NJ Announcement of Program Funding (53 kb)
FY 2007 NJ Application Package Check List (17 kb)
Application Cover Sheet - Standard Form 424 (150 kb)
Budget Information - Standard Form 424A (1589 kb)
Supplemental Instructions for Standard Form 424A (82 kb)
Sample Completed Standard Form 424A (447 kb)
Certifications - Standard Form 424B (21 kb)
DUNS Number Application Information (23 kb)
Biannual Report Form (14 kb)


2006 Awards

Rutgers University – Water Resources
$74,331

Rutgers will implement a vegetated channel system on a private nursery operation to encourage uptake of nutrients and improve infiltration of irrigation runoff into the soil. The activities carried out under this grant will: 1) incorporate turf grass and native warm season grasses into the runoff conveyance system, 2) use a water and nutrient budget as a basis for monitoring results, 3) test the recovered water for disease-causing fungus and bacteria, and 4) recommend changes to the NRCS technical standard for tailwater recovery.

Rutgers University – Environmental Sciences
$74,981

Under this agreement, Rutgers researchers will implement soil management practices in real-crop situations to determine the effectiveness and applicability of the recommended measures. The activities carried out under this grant will: 1) establish the recommended practices on several crop fields, 2) monitor the crop response and changes in soil quality indicators, 3) develop outreach materials and results reports, and 4) recommend changes to the draft NRCS technical standard for soil management.

turning mulch row at AgChoiceAg Choice, LLC
$75,000

AgChoice, a private corporation, will study the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of a regional composting facility for agricultural waste. The activities carried out under this grant will: 1) evaluate the economic efficiency of a collecting agricultural wastes from small scale and concentrated animal operations, 2) determine the environmental benefits of an aerobic covered pile composting process, 3) provide hands-on opportunities for others to learn how the facility was developed and operates, and 4) provide a summary report of the lessons learned.

2006 Application Materials

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.
FY2006 NJ Request for Proposals (43 kb)
 FY 2006 NJ Application Package Check List (29 kb)
Application Cover Sheet - Standard Form 424 (150 kb)
Budget Information - Standard Form 424A (120 kb)
Supplemental Instructions for Standard Form 424A (67 kb)
Sample Completed Standard Form 424A (896 kb)
Certifications - Standard Form 424B (21 kb)
DUNS Number Application Information (23 kb)
Biannual Report Form (14 kb)


2005 Awards

North Jersey RC&D
$75,000

This project is designed to provide recognition for farmers who assess the potential water quality impacts of their existing operation, and implement best management practices on their farms to reduce any negative impacts or enhance positive impacts. The project will focus on the Neshanic River watershed, an intensely farmed area of Hunterdon and Somerset counties that is part of the Raritan River basin and water supply for thousands of New Jersey residents.

horses at Rutgers Equine CenterThe Cook College Equine Science Center at Rutgers University
$75,000

This grant will fund innovative equine pasture systems and educational workshops, seminars, and fact sheets that will demonstrate how the implementation and management of these practices can improve water quality as well as herd health. As part of the grant, Rutgers will be reaching out to most of the 7,600 small livestock producers in New Jersey who may not be aware of the types of programs and services that NRCS and USDA can provide.

2005 Application Materials

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.
FY 2005 NJ Request for Proposals (43 kb)
FY 2005 NJ Application Package Check List (29 kb)
Application Cover Sheet – Standard Form 424 (150 kb)
Budget Information – Standard Form 424A (120 kb)
Supplemental Instructions for Standard Form 424A (67 kb)
Sample Completed Standard Form 424A (896 kb)
Certifications – Standard Form 424B (21 kb)
DUNS Number Application Information (23 kb)
Biannual Report Form (14 kb)