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New Jersey Farm Bureau News

Proposed regulations, they claim, would eliminate urban beekeeping and severely restrict the practice in most suburbs

Honeybee colonies worldwide have come under attack in recent years by the mysterious colony collapse disorder and vicious mite infestations. Now, in New Jersey, state regulations aimed at backyard beekeepers could become another threat to the bee population.

The proposed regulations would, among other changes, ban individuals from maintaining hives on properties of less than a quarter acre and place a two-hive limit on beekeepers with anywhere from a quarter acre to five acres of land.

Click here to read the full article at NJ Spotlight.

Agriculture has always been a keystone of the state’s economy; if no longer dominant in dollars, it certainly still plays a significant role in the Garden State’s image. The Department of Agriculture’s transition report underscores that fact, with its advisory committee hoping to enhance New Jersey’s public image by supporting agritourism efforts and bringing back the sidelined and underfunded Jersey Fresh program.

Click here to read the full story as published int he Star Ledger.

Pro: Federal OK confirms safety of the much-needed infrastructure

On Jan. 19, the PennEast natural gas pipeline received federal approval and moved our region toward a clean-energy future. Families and businesses across New Jersey and Pennsylvania are closer than ever to realizing the benefits of lower and more stable electric and natural gas costs— along with thousands of new jobs— with the delivery of clean, reliable, American energy.

Con: Fight vs. the unnecessary project is just getting started

It would b e a big mistake for PennEast to think its approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission means the Penn-East pipeline will be built.

Click here to read the complete debate on this topic as published by the Star Ledger.

Reviewing Opportunities and Challenges in Key U.S. Agricultural Export Markets

Following the multiple years of large harvests in the U.S., projections for record livestock, dairy and meat production in the current year and farm income at concerningly low levels, U.S. farmers and ranchers are actively seeking to enhance access in existing foreign markets like Canada, China, Japan, Mexico and South Korea, and gain access in new markets, e.g. re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Click here to read more from fb.org

Governor’s advisory committee wants more state support for agri-tourism, a revived Jersey Fresh program, and to get more people involved in farming.

Agriculture has always been a keystone of the state’s economy; if no longer dominant in dollars, it certainly still plays a significant role in the Garden State’s image. The Department of Agriculture’s transition report underscores that fact, with its advisory committee hoping to enhance New Jersey’s public image by supporting agritourism efforts and bringing back the sidelined and underfunded Jersey Fresh program.

Click here to read the rest of this story from njspotlight.com

Gov. Phil Murphy said it on the campaign trail and again after his inauguration: He wants to gradually hike New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15.

His odds of success are high with a Democrat-led legislature supportive of the proposal.

But not every worker should celebrate.

State Sen. President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said the potential increase may exempt farm workers, noting that the modern agricultural industry can be a tough business for owners.

“I’m not putting the farming community out of business,” he told Politico last week. (Sweeney’s district is in South Jersey, where the state’s farming industry is concentrated.)

Click here to read the full story from whyy.org

A Trump administration outline for farm legislation calls for pushing some food-stamp recipients back to work, a GOP priority.

A four-page document released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday called for supporting “work as the pathway to self-sufficiency, well-being and economic mobility for individuals and families” on food stamps. The administration didn’t specify how it would change the law or whether it wants to cut funds for the program.

Click here to read this story from farmfutures.com

A new paper published in Scientific Reports tells us that the world’s farmland soils have the technical potential to offset as much carbon as the United States emits, if they are managed better. This would also be equal to removing all the carbon from the atmosphere that the transport sector emits each year.

Click here to read this news story from flipboard.com

Cream Ridge, NJ – New Jersey’s wine industry had a $323 million economic impact on the state in 2016, an increase of 39.9% from the $231 million economic impact reported in 2011, according to a new study released by the Garden State Wine Growers Association (GSWGA) funded from a Wine Industry Council Grant, and completed by accounting and consulting firm Frank, Rimerman + Co.

Wine production increased by 73.1% from 405,954 gallons in 2011 to 702,671 in 2016. The number of wineries in the state increased from 38 to 50, and wine, grapes and related industries accounted for 1,979 jobs (up 35.4% from 1,462 in 2011) according to the study with the majority of the jobs being in the actual wineries and vineyards with an associated payroll of $85.57 million.  Grape bearing acres also grew 23/3% from 1,283 to 1,582 acres.

The New Jersey wine and grape industry also generates significant tax dollars, benefiting federal, state and local governments. New Jersey’s wine, grape and allied industries paid $23.24 million in federal taxes and $17.73 million in state and local taxes in 2016, including roughly $2.35 million in total excise taxes.

The study estimates the retail value of New Jersey wine sold at about $29.53 million in 2016, up from $21.46 million in 2011. The majority of New Jersey wineries are small, producing less than 5,000 cases a year, and a majority of them sell their wine directly to consumers through winery tasting rooms.

“This economic impact study clearly shows the positive role our wineries and wine-related industries are having on the state’s economy not only from jobs and tax revenue, but also from helping to boost tourism in the state,” said Valerie Tishuk, Chair of the Garden State Wine Growers Association.

Wine is certainly making an impact not only in New Jersey but across the country as well. In September of 2017, WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, unveiled a national impact study pegged the wine industry’s total benefit to the U.S. economy at $219.9 billion in 2017.

According to the GSWGA study, tourism continues to be a material factor in the New Jersey wine and grape industry’s overall impact on the broader state economy. A survey of New Jersey wineries estimates that 108,813 tourists visited New Jersey wineries in 2016. Supporting these winery visitors is a diverse labor force of approximately 357 employees with total wages of approximately $12.9 million. The continued increase of tourist visits over the past several years can be attributed to the increased number of New Jersey wineries and continued improvement in wine quality, providing more destinations and opportunities for visitors to experience New Jersey wine country. 

“While these figures are encouraging, they also show that there is a lot more work to be done in making our wine industry a focal point of beverage tourism in New Jersey,” noted Tom Cosentino, Executive Director of the GSWGA.

As outlined in the study, despite the increase in winery-related visitors from 2011, total tourism revenue industry wide declined from $20.10 million in 2011 to $19.99 million in 2016.  This is directly attributable to lower average spending per visitor statewide across all tourism sectors as well as fewer number of wineries visited per visit. Specifically, tourism spending per visitor has decreased from $209.66 in 2011 to $183.67 in 2016, a drop of approximately 12.4%.

“We are confident that the new administration will see the value of using the wine industry to help support and promote tourism in New Jersey and look forward to once again working in a  bipartisan manner with our legislature to create bills that will continue to help us grow,” noted Tishuk.

The GSWGA is a coalition of over 50 wineries, grape growers and vineyard owners across New Jersey, dedicated to raising the quality and awareness of the New Jersey wine industry. For more information visit: www.newjerseywines.com.