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USDA proposes expansion of its CREP in New Jersey

USDA proposes expansion of its CREP in New Jersey
USDA proposes expansion of its CREP in New Jersey

Programme to improve the nature reserve

The public review and comment period ends on August 9, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making a draft programmatic environmental assessment for its Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in New Jersey available to the public for a 30-day review and comment period. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), in coordination with the New Jersey State Department of Agriculture, prepared the draft assessment, which evaluates the potential impacts of expanding New Jersey’s existing CREP to include up to 30,000 targeted acres statewide. The public review and comment period ends August 9, 2024. (Photo by Greg Willson on Unsplash

HAMILTON SQUARE, NJ — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making a draft programmatic environmental assessment for its Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in New Jersey available to the public for a 30-day review and comment period. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), in coordination with the New Jersey State Department of Agriculture, prepared the draft assessment, which evaluates the potential impacts of expanding New Jersey’s existing CREP to a targeted enrollment of up to 30,000 acres statewide. The public review and comment period ends 9 August 2024.

“This Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is an incredibly important resource for agriculture and the environment across the state of New Jersey,” said Robert Andrzejczak, FSA State Executive Director in New Jersey. “Expanding the program is critical to the state and we want to make sure we get as much feedback from people as possible during this public comment period.”

The proposed expansion of CREP in New Jersey will also add FSA conservation measures such as planting deciduous trees, creating salt-tolerant vegetation cover, and creating windbreaks in fields to the four conservation measures currently available to eligible landowners under the existing program. Haymaking and grazing will be permitted under the revision in line with other participation opportunities under the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program.

Eligible lands currently included in the New Jersey CREP will be included in the expanded program. Landowners participating in the CREP will receive assistance with the costs of implementing and maintaining conservation easements, as well as annual lease and incentive payments for lands participating in the program.

Comments on the draft programmatic environmental assessment should be sent to Sarah Lally, Agricultural Program Specialist, USDA Farm Service Agency, 200 Clocktower Dr, Suite 101, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690 or by email to [email protected]. The deadline to submit comments is August 9.

FSA and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture will review all comments received and determine if any changes are needed before finalizing the draft programmatic environmental assessment. Upon completion of this environmental assessment, FSA will announce the availability of the CREP extension.

More information

To learn more about FSA programs, producers can contact their local USDA service center. Producers can also create area reporting maps, manage farm credits, and view other farm data and customer information by logging into their farmers.gov account. Producers without an account can sign up today.

USDA impacts the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming the American food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, more equitable markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and income streams for farmers and producers through climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capacity in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by breaking down systemic barriers and building a workforce that better represents America. For more information, visit usda.gov.

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–USDA Farm Services Agency

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