Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Please fence me in, sing farmers on preserved NJ farms

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture today announced that the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) has approved $456,122 in cost-sharing grants to help 32 farmer applicants purchase and install deer fencing on preserved farms to protect their crops. 

“Deer damage is a major problem for farmers across the state, so we were very pleased to offer this new deer-fencing program,” Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher said in a news release. 

Image result for deer fencing on New Jersey farms photosThe grants will help fund the installation of 35 miles of deer fencing to protect more than 1,700 acres of preserved farmland. Most of the approved deer-fencing projects are in high deer-density areas and 96 percent of the crops to be protected are the highest-value crops (vegetables, orchards and nurseries).

The matching grants will fund 50 percent of the costs for fencing materials and installation. The other 50 percent will be paid for by the farmer. The maximum grant award is $200 per acre of preserved farmland owned or up to $20,000 total. The grants will be funded from a portion of the SADC’s State farmland preservation monies allocated to promoting stewardship activities on preserved farms. The funding is subject to appropriation by the Legislature.

The SADC administers New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program and promotes innovative approaches to maintaining the viability of agriculture. To date, more than 2,400 farms covering approximately 226,000 acres have been preserved under the State Farmland Preservation Program.
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