Farmers urged to use federal aid

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:51

    NEW JERSEY-New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus urged farmers to take advantage of $4.5 million in federal cost-share funding available for installation of soil and water conservation practices. Applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program will be taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service through Oct. 29. The cost-share program, in which the farmer bears part of the cost, has been expanded in New Jersey to include the new conservation practices of advanced nutrient management, advanced pest management, grass-based livestock systems, and agricultural runoff management to voluntarily meet the state's storm water management regulations. In addition, some expanded components for existing irrigated acres will be cost shared. "This money is available now for agricultural producers who want to take advantage of these or other conservation systems on their operations," said Secretary Kuperus. "Either a new applicant or a farmer who has existing contracts may be eligible, so we urge them to not hesitate in submitting an application by the Oct. 29 deadline." The incentives program is a voluntary conservation program administered by the federal government. It allows farmers whose applications are approved to receive financial and technical help with structural and management conservation practices on agricultural land. Sign-up for the program is continuous, but funding rounds are set throughout the year to select projects for funding. Additional program information is available at To sign up, or for more information, call 908-8