Pollinators are many different types of creatures that most flowering plants rely on to produce fruit and seeds. Pollinators include honeybees, bumble bees, flies, beetles, butterflies and more. Pollinators are essential for the production of many of the crops we grow for food. To see a bumble bee hard at work click here.
To learn more about pollinators and their value visit the Pollinator Factsheet produced by the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
The following are some tips to help protect these important creatures:
1. Grow a variety of bee-friendly flowers that bloom from spring through fall.
2. Protect and provide bee nests and caterpillar host plants.
3. Avoid using pesticides, especially insecticides.
4. Talk to your neighbors about the importance of pollinators and their habitat.
With these core principles, pollinators can be protected throughout our communities! And remember, by protecting pollinators we protect the future of agricultural productivity(and our food sources).
Spring is almost here! Spring for some farmers means time to spread manure. Manure can be a valuable resource, providing plants with necessary nutrients and adding organic matter to the soil. Care should be taken to avoid under application resulting in poor plant performance or over application resulting in negative environmental impacts. Knowing the nutrient value of the manure being spread and calibrating your spreader, coupled with recent soil tests will help ensure the proper amount of manure is applied. Below are links to a video and some fact sheets that can help. If you have questions give me a call.
Bernard is the new Agricultural Outreach specialist for North Jersey RC&D and will be focusing his efforts on the continuing success of the River Friendly Farm Certification Program. He recently moved back to New Jersey from Madison, Wisconsin where he earned his MS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Forestry. He also has his BS degree from Rutgers in Ecology and Natural Resources. Bernie worked as a seasonal employee in both Wisconsin and Alaska and has research experience in forest health, particularly with bacterial leaf scorch, the emerald ash borer and other various insect pests. Personal interests include vegetable gardening, wild edibles, hunting, back packing, canoeing and primitive skills. If you wish to contact him (and welcome him to the organization!) you can email Bernie here or call him at 908-441-9191.
River Friendly Certification is a Free, Voluntary and Self-Paced program that assists farmers in identifying areas for improvement to help protect our water resources.
This program is currently facilitated by North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development, a non-profit organization spanning six counties in North Western New Jersey.
Please explore the website and contact us with any of your questions or comments!
Agricultural producers and land owners who have an interest in an agricultural operation predominantly located within one of three designated sub-watersheds of the Raritan River basin can apply for technical and financial assistance to implement farm practices that improve water quality. Application must be received by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) by April 19, 2013, to be eligible for current funding.
To find out if you are within one of the three sub-watersheds you can click here.
To better determine if AWEP funding is available to you in your specific watershed please visit the links below:
Spruce Run/Mulhockaway Watershed
Long Valley/South Branch Raritan Watershed
Farmers and land-owners who own or manage agricultural properties in specific watersheds in New Jersey are eligible for extra financial assistance for conservation programs through the Agricultural Mini-Grant Program (Mini-), run by the New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA). The program provides supplemental funding for agricultural conservation practices that protect or improve water quality. This money is different from support provided by NRCS, but covers many of the same projects! Funding for this project comes from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Policy Implementation and Watershed Restoration.
For a full list of eligible practices, go to www.raritanbasin.org
To see if your farmland is eligible for Mini-, check out http://www.raritanbasin.org/Ag_Minigrant_TargetArea_Online_Map_application.html
Want to learn more? Contact:
Kathy Hale, Principal Watershed Protection Specialist
Bernard Isaacson, Agricultural Outreach Specialist