New Jersey Environmental Quality Incentives Programlast updated: March 2007

Program Description

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. It supports production agriculture and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers may receive financial and technical help with structural and management conservation practices on agricultural land.

For the NJ Environmental Quality Incentives Program, a farmer can apply for cost-sharing and/or incentive payment assistance for any practice that will be included in the approved Conservation Plan for the farm. EQIP may pay up to 75 percent of the costs of eligible conservation practices. Each practice, however, can only contribute toward one incentive payment.  

Conservation practices eligible for payment assistance under the NJ-EQIP program are listed for the following agricultural resource areas:

  • Cropland Practices,
  • Irrigation Systems,
  • Pasture or Grazing Land,
  • Animal Waste Management, and
  • Stormwater Management.
CROPLAND PRACTICES
Practices normally associated with production agriculture, such as reduction of sheet and rill erosion, control of gullies, management and handling of nutrients and pesticides, management of soil organic matter, protection of surface and ground water resources, transition to organic production, control of airborne particulates, and installation of conservation buffers. An asterisk (*) before the listed practice denotes a management practice eligible for payments for up to a maximum of three years.

IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
Land must have been irrigated at least 2 of the past 5 years to be eligible. In addition, all irrigation systems must have an efficiency rating of at least 80%, and the contract must include Irrigation Water Management as an agreed-to practice.An asterisk (*) before the listed practice denotes a management practice eligible for payments for up to a maximum of three years.

PASTURE OR GRAZING LAND
Practices associated with pasture based livestock operations, such as management of grass and water resources, protection of surface and ground water, reduction in soil compaction and erosion, and implementation of conservation buffers. Payment is limited to practices designed for the number of animal units on the operation at the time of program application. Consideration will be given for variations in animal numbers normal for the operation. Waivers to this provision can be requested in writing to the state Program Manager. ALL PRACTICES MUST BE PART OF AN APPROVED PRESCRIBED GRAZING SYSTEM. An asterisk (*) before the listed practice denotes a management practice eligible for payments for up to a maximum of three years.

ANIMAL WASTE MANAGEMENT
Practices related to the handling, transfer, and storage of animal waste products, and practices that separate clean water sources from contaminated water in areas where livestock congregate. Payment is limited to practices designed for the number of animal units on the operation at the time of program application. Consideration will be given for variations in animal numbers normal for the operation. Waivers to this provision can be requested in writing to the state Program Manager.An asterisk (*) before the listed practice denotes a management practice eligible for payments for up to a maximum of three years. Note: a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) is required for any contract that includes the storage of animal wastes produced on the farm. The CNMP will be developed by Rutgers with input from the producer, and approved by NRCS within 12 months of contract signing. All portions of the operation where waste is generated or applied, whether under the EQIP contract or not, must be included in the CNMP plan.

STORM WATER MANAGEMENT
Practices associated with meeting the requirements of NJ Stormwater regulations. Payment is authorized for treating impervious surfaces that were in existence on the effective date of the NJ Stormwater Management Rules only (February 2, 2004).

 

Eligibility

Private agricultural land, including eligible cropland, pasture, private non-industrial forest land, and other farm or ranch lands that are in compliance with the Highly-Erodible land provisions of the farm bill.   Applicants must be an individual, entity, or joint operation engaged in livestock or agricultural production, producing a minimum of $1000 worth of agricultural products per year; must control the land for the life of the contract; and must be in compliance with adjusted gross income requirements.

Sign up

NRCS accepts applications for all of our conservation programs throughout the year, but establishes funding periods to facilitate application review and contract development. Funding cycle for the EQIP program are timed so that contracts can be awarded to implement their practices within the first year of the contract. The next application period for EQIP will close on June 1, 2007.

To apply for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), you will need to fill out the Conservation Program Contract Form CCC-1200 and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Contract Appendix To Form CCC-1200.

After submitting your application at your local USDA Service Center, a certified conservation planner will assist you in developing a plan to address the resource concerns on your farm. They will also work with you to complete a scoring worksheet for your application. Submitted applications are ranked, with the highest priority given to those applications in each region with the highest score. 


Contact New Jersey Environmental Quality Incentives Program


Contact New Jersey Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Janice Reid, Assistant State Conservationist, EQIP Program Manager
USDA-NRCS
220 Davidson Ave, 4th Floor
Somerset, New Jersey  08873
Phone: 732-537-6042
Fax: 732-537-6095


 

Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters



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