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News Release

NRCS Announces EQIP Signup for 2021 Funding

Gail Bartok, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs

SOMERSET, N.J., October 20, 2020 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the application deadline to November 20, 2020 for New Jersey’s agricultural producers to implement conservation practices on their land through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), EQIP Conservation Activity Plans and EQIP Initiatives. Applications for the  following Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – EQIP projects (Delaware River Watershed Working Lands Conservation, Whole Farm Systems Conservation Trial, Black River Greenway- Soil and Water Protection), and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program (AMA) will also now be accepted during this period.

“EQIP’s fundamental purpose is to promote agricultural production, forest management and environmental quality as compatible goals. Our NJ EQIP program provides flexible assistance to eligible producers to address natural resource issues prioritized by our three regional local working groups and through several state and national initiatives,” said New Jersey State Conservationist Julie Hawkins.

NRCS soil conservationists are available to help New Jersey private land managers assess the natural resources on their property and suggest conservation practices that can be planned and implemented with NRCS assistance. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation issues, such as water quality degradation, soil erosion, soil quality degradation and inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife.

Initiatives in New Jersey include the Golden Winged Warbler Initiative in North Jersey and the National Water Quality Initiative in South Jersey. Last year, NRCS provided over $5.7 million in EQIP financial assistance to New Jersey producers.

Agricultural Management Assistance 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.

NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers address resource concerns through conservation programs authorized by the Farm Bill. NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round and are processed when funding becomes available. Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center and the NJ NRCS website for more information.