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Program Documents

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation Tillage radish cover reduces soil compaction and increases infiltrationprogram open to all eligible agricultural producers including livestock, forestry, and organic production. EQIP offers financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land.

Decisions related to how a crop is produced affect the environment, and vice-versa. The EQIP program provides payments for implementing conservation practices that have a positive environmental impact, while protecting long term agricultural production and sustainability. NRCS professionals work with producers to develop a conservation plan for their operation, design conservation practices, and provide guidance to help implement the plan.

Opportunities within EQIP Description
   

Aquaculture Initiative

The Aquaculture Initiative offers technical and financial assistance to New Jersey aquaculture producers to address excessive bank erosion from streams, shorelines, or water conveyance channels, excess nutrients in surface and groundwater, degraded plant conditions, fish and wildlife habitat degradation, and inefficient energy use from equipment.

Beginning Farmer

The primary focus of this funding pool is to assist beginning farmers with addressing resource concerns on their operations. Visit Opportunities for Historically Underserved Producers in New Jersey to learn more.

Conservation Activity Plans

EQIP financial assistance is available for the development of Conservation Activity Plans (CAP). A CAP can be developed for producers to identify conservation practices needed to address a specific natural resource need. Typically, these plans are specific to certain kinds of land use such as transitioning to organic operations, grazing land, forest land, or can also address a specific resource such as nutrient management. All Conservation Activity Plans are developed by a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) to help agricultural producers and forest owners address specific natural resource concerns on their land.

High Tunnel Initiative

This Initiative helps with cost of installing a high tunnel in order to extend the growing season and improve plant condition for high value crops. High tunnels protect plants from severe weather and allow farmers to extend their growing seasons – growing earlier into the spring, later into the fall, and sometimes, year-round. And because high tunnels prevent direct rainfall from reaching plants, farmers can use precise tools like drip irrigation to efficiently deliver water and nutrients to plants. High tunnels also offer farmers a greater ability to control pests and can even protect plants from pollen and pesticide drift.

On Farm Energy Initiative

NRCS and producers develop Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP) or farm energy audits that assess energy consumption on an operation. NRCS then uses audit data to develop energy conservation recommendations.

Organic Initiative

The organic initiative provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for organic producers or those transitioning to organic.

Socially Disadvantaged Producers

The primary focus of this funding pool is to assist socially disadvantaged producers with addressing resource concerns on their operations. Visit Opportunities for Historically Underserved Producers in New Jersey to learn more.

Soil Health Initiative

The Soil Health Initiative offers technical and financial assistance to New Jersey agricultural producers to implement multi-species cover crops and companion conservation practices.

Working Lands for Wildlife

The Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative (WLFW) focuses on combating the decline of wildlife species whose decline can be reversed. Each state targets habitat improvements for selected species to help reverse the species decline and benefit other species with similar habitat needs as well. New Jersey NRCS works in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies and organizations to select target species for WLFW. See the NJ NRCS WLFW page for WLFW species in New Jersey. FY2019 target species in New Jersey are: Golden Winged Warbler, American Black Duck, Northern Bobwhite (Bobwhite Quail).

Click on image to download PDF of map.Opportunities within EQIP - Local Priorities set by Local Work Groups

Funding is allocated to fund conservation activities that address resource priorities set by North, Central and South Jersey Work Groups. Applications for this pool of funding are ranked according to resource priorities that have been identified by the respective local work group. Typically, these resources relate to management of Cropland, Forest Land, Livestock, and Wildlife Habitat.

Northern New Jersey Local Work Group

This pool fund directs EQIP funding to conservation activities in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties. This local working group seeks to prioritize applications that address natural resource issues relating to improving water quality, livestock, forestry, and wildlife. 

Central New Jersey Local Work Group

This pool fund directs EQIP funding to conservation activities in Burlington, Camden, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. This local working group seeks to prioritize applications that address natural resource issues relating to soil quality, water quality and pollinator protection as well as livestock and forestry.

Southern New Jersey Local Work Group

This pool fund directs EQIP funding to conservation activities in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties. This local working group seeks to prioritize applications that address natural resource issues relating to reducing soil degradation, improving irrigation efficiency and increasing resilience of coastal communities as well as forestry and livestock.

Opportunities through EQIP in Selected Watersheds

National Water Quality Initiative

NRCS will help producers implement conservation and management practices through a systems approach to control and trap nutrient and manure runoff. Qualified producers will receive assistance for installing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces in the Upper Cohansey River, Upper Salem River, and Upper Alloway Creek Watersheds to address documented phosphorus, bacteria, and sediment impairments which may be caused by soil erosion, exposed soil, and lack of riparian buffers and filter strips.

Opportunities through EQIP – Regional Conservation Partnership Program agreements

Raritan Basin Partners for Source Water Protection

This RCPP agreement offers opportunities in selected areas of the Raritan Basin to support conservation projects in the South Branch Raritan River and Lockatong and Wickecheoke Creek Watersheds. This opportunity is available through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program agreement with the New Jersey Water Supply Authority, Hunterdon Land Trust, and the Hunterdon County Agricultural Development Board.

Columbia Dam Removal and Restoration 

This RCPP agreement offers opportunities to support restoration practices in selected areas after the removal of the Columbia Dam (Sussex County) has been completed. This opportunity is available through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program agreement with the Nature Conservancy.

Black River Greenway-Soil and Water Protection

This RCPP agreement offers opportunities in selected areas to support forestry conservation projects in the Black River area of Hunterdon and Somerset counties. This opportunity is available through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program agreement with the NJ Conservation Foundation.

 

You can apply anytime!

EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis. However, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking, and approval of eligible applications.