The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) New Jersey is now accepting FY2023 applications for EQIP, CSP, AMA, and RCPP.
SOMERSET, N.J., July 15, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) New Jersey is now accepting FY2023 applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
While NRCS accepts applications year-round, New Jersey producers and landowners should apply by September 23, 2022 to be considered for funding in the current cycle.
Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with one-on-one help and financial assistance to plan and implement conservation practices to address a variety of issues such as water quality degradation, soil erosion, soil quality degradation and inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife.
Special initiatives include Conservation Activity Plans (CAP), Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) - Golden Winged-Warbler and the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forest land. Participating farmers will further address priority resource concerns related to soil quality, water quality, air quality, and plant health. On-farm benefits include increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife population improvements, and better resilience to weather variables. For producers who are already taking steps to improve the condition of their land, CSP can help them find ways to meet their goals.
AMA is a voluntary conservation program available to beginning and limited resource farmers, small farms, and producers who have had limited participation in other USDA financial assistance programs. Producers eligible for AMA can apply for financial and technical assistance to voluntarily address resource issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.
Through RCPP, NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to the resource concerns they seek to address. New Jersey’s RCPP land management projects are:
- Protecting Source Water Protection in the Raritan Basin – In partnership with the New Jersey Water Supply Authority, conservation systems and practices on farms in the project area will be implemented to promote source water protection.
- Salem River Bog Turtle Protection and Restoration – Lead partner, New Jersey Audubon, will help private landowners increase wildlife habitat and habitat suitability for the endangered Bog Turtle population in the Upper Salem River Watershed by offering financial incentives to install and maintain conservation practices.
- Northern NJ Small Food Link Conservation Project – NRCS Partner, Urban Agriculture Cooperative, will deliver technical and financial assistance to new and historically underserved urban farmers in Northern N.J.