North Jersey RC&D is inviting farmers in northern New Jersey to participate in a two-year on-farm trial of innovative cover crop management strategies. Farmers enrolled in the project will try one of the following practices on a portion of their land: (1) planting into green cover crop, (2) roller-crimping cover crop to kill it, or (3) grazing cover crops.  As the study progresses, farmers will record what they did and what was the impact on cash crops; meanwhile, the staff at North Jersey RC&D will collect soil samples to assess the effect the practices had on soil health. 

Farmers will commit to two years of these strategies (2021 and 2022). As compensation for trying and evaluating these conservation approaches, farmers will receive technical assistance and compensation through North Jersey RC&D. Compensation will include a $1,000 annual stipend for time/labor recording economic and agronomic practices and annual per-acre-payments for every acre enrolled in the study.  The grant also provides farmers with an equipment budget, to purchase the equipment and supplies they need to be successful, including high-end planter attachments, roller crimpers, as well as fence supplies for grazing. 

These strategies maximize soil cover, biodiversity, and the presence of living roots in annual crop systems, ultimately increasing the agronomic and economic value of cover crop to agricultural producers. 

This opportunity is open to farmers with previous experience using cover crops, who are located in Warren, Hunterdon, Sussex, Somerset and Morris counties. We are seeking to conduct research on a wide diversity of farms from small vegetable to large grain operations under both organic and conventional management.

This work is supported by the Conservation Innovation Grants program at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The project is funded through the On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), a new component of 2018 Farm Bill.  We encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to experiment with some advanced soil health practices.  New Jersey farmers haven’t had access to conservation innovation funding at this scale in over 20 years – so don’t miss out.  

Have Questions?


Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm 

No upcoming events at the moment

more about the
on-farm trial


Farms in  northern New Jersey (Warren, Hunterdon,
Sussex, Somerset, and Morris counties)

  • Any farmer with at least one year of experience using cover crops. The project is open to all farms -- big and small --- under conventional and organic management growing grains, beans, and other summer annuals including silage corn, vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

  • Farmers will need to be NRCS EQIP eligible and records on file with FSA. For this project, the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limitation can be waived.


Participants will work with NJRCD staff to purchase equipment during 2020.  Participants will additionally need to attend one workshop or webinar outlining study expectations and providing guidance.  Participants will implement innovative cover crop management strategies during the spring of 2021 and 2022.  

Participants will commit to trying an innovative cover crop management strategies on fields or parts of fields.  Strategies examined in this study include:
  1. Planting Green
  2. Roller-crimper
  3. Grazing Cover Crops 

farmer responsibilities

Attend a meeting or webinar (August 2020) regarding the On-Farm Trials

Try out an innovative cover crop management strategy (either planting green, roller crimping, or grazing cover crops) during the spring of 2021 and 2022

Record details about planting cover crops, terminating cover crops, planting cash crops, and harvesting cover crops in a project manual.

Allow North Jersey RC&D staff to sample soils in research plots annually. 

Share your experience and insights regarding the on-farm trial with researchers

project incentives


Compensation for twice-annual on-farm meetings, and time/labor recording economic and agronomic practices. Farmers will receive annual stipends after submitting completed worksheets detailing economic and agronomic practices.

Payment Rate: $1,000 annually after cover crop termination is complete and worksheet submissions are up-to-date


Participants are eligible to receive financial assistance toward equipment and supplies (retrofits and purchases) for

  • temporary and/or permanent fence equipment and supplies

  • frame-mounted or pull-behind roller crimpers

  • no-till planter retrofits including specialized coulters, disc levelers, residue cleaners, closing wheels, and hydraulic downforce systems.

Payment Rate: $Up to $20,000 reimbursement per participant.  The payment rate will vary between participants based on practice implemented, existing equipment on hand, and acreage enrolled. Most participants can expect to receive between $8,000 and $15,000 in equipment incentives.


Participants will receive payment for every acre enrolled in the study.

Payment Rate: $35.00 per acre for grains, beans, and forage crops and $300.00 per acre for summer annual vegetable/fruit crops)


Land enrolled in the study will receive a comprehensive soil health analysis each year.  



On-farm trial participants who have additional questions or concerns are eligible to receive free 1:1 consultation with NJRCD Agricultural Specialists or other consultants on the project.  


frequently asked questions


Application takes only a few minutes and is non-binding

Application is due July 1st, 2020

North Jersey RC&D will schedule telephone calls/on-farm visits with prospective applicants during early July. 



Join a short Zoom Webinar on
Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm 

No upcoming events at the moment


Contact Bridgett Hilshey at bhilshey@northjerseyrcd.org or
 (908) 574-5368

(908) 574-5368


10 Maple Avenue
P.O. Box 117
Asbury, NJ 08802


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