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New Jersey Farm Bureau News

EDITORIAL: Trenton fails on open space

02 Jul 2014, Posted by admin in State News

Open space is precious in New Jersey, and most residents understand the importance of preserving it. Voters are so sensitive to the need that they have repeatedly approved tax-hike proposals on local, county and state levels to assure money remains available to secure available land.

So it’s quite likely that New Jerseyans would support a new plan designed to establish a stable, long-term funding source for open space. The proposal has bipartisan backing, spearheaded by Democratic Sen. Bob Smith and Republican Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, and it involves no new money. Instead, a small percentage of corporate business tax revenue that already goes to environmental programs would be redirected toward preservation. An estimated $71 million a year would become available in the first five years — still far below past expenditures. The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a ballot question for a constitutional amendment to enable the plan.

Click here to read the rest from mycentraljersey.com

The strawberries are excellent — late, but excellent.

Local farmers are predicting that other crops will fare as well after the long, cold winter.

At worst, there was a delay in planting due to icy and wet soil. At best, the snow and cold moistened the ground and got rid of harmful fungi that pester the crops grown by more than 10,000 farmers in the Garden State.

Click here to read more.

Do you have an interest in vegetable production? Please join us tonight as Jim Giamarese hosts our group for a visit/tour of his vegetable farm East Brunswick at 6:30 pm.

Address is: 155 Fresh Pond Road, East Brunswick NJ. Hope to see you there!

The front page of yesterday’s Star-Ledger featured a piece about a Fairleigh Dickinson/PublicMind Poll showing that most New Jerseyans plan to flee the state once they retire. The main reason given was our state’s high costs and taxes.

That was no surprise to me. Over the weekend, I’d attended an alumni event at my old high school. I got talking to a guy who sold his house last year and escaped to Key West. The property taxes on his place there are half what he used to pay here. The income tax? Florida doesn’t have one.

Click here to read more from Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine.

Strings dangling from a greenhouse-like tunnel dance when a breeze blows through Shirley Kline’s small farm, a wisp of rural beauty in a cantaloupe patch.

The moment is not lost on the world-traveled farmer of 6 acres in Stow Creek Township, Cumberland County.

“If you don’t take pleasure in being out here and working and getting your hands dirty, this isn’t the life for you,” she said.

Kline represents a dwindling portion of New Jersey agriculture — the smallest acreage farms.

Click here to read more from The Press of Atlantic City.

Excitement is building around the New Jersey Farm to School program, said Mary Stein, associate director of the National Farm to School Network.

“Where New Jersey really stands out is through the school garden program. They’ve been major leaders around that movement,” Stein said.

“Those gardens are cultivated on school sites to familiarize students with gardening, food preparation, specific plants, and allow them to taste new fruits and vegetables,” said Peter Furey, executive director of the New Jersey Farm Bureau.

Beth Feehan, director of New Jersey Farm to School Network, has focused a lot of her attention on those school gardens.

Click here to read more.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has been hearing reports of crop damage from a hail storm that hit Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem and Atlantic counties on May 22. The Department is working with USDA Farm Service Agency in helping to assess damage and determine what steps can be taken to assist farmers impacted by the storm. They are asking people who have hail damage or losses from excessive rain and wind to contact their local FSA county office to provide information relative to the extent of their losses in order to assist NJDA with seeking a disaster declaration. If they have NAP (Non-insured disaster assistance) FSA or if they have Crop insurance, remember to call the appropriate agency and request a loss adjuster look at any crop before it is destroyed in order not to jeopardize any potential program indemnity.

Please call the Department at 609-292-3976 if you have any questions.

GMOs: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR NEW JERSEY FARMERS — Friday, May 9, 2014 9:00 AM to Noon at the NJAES EcoComplex, Bordentown, NJ.

The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) and the NJAES Board of Managers is sponsoring an informational forum about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that is directed specifically to New Jersey’s agricultural community.

Click here for more information.