An Act concerning soil health, supplementing Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.2007, c.340.
This bill would require the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, to establish the New Jersey Healthy Soils Program to promote soil health practices, including planting mixed cover crops, adopting no-till or low-till farming practices, and rotation grazing. The agencies would provide research, education, technical assistance, and financial assistance to farmers to implement farm management practices, and determine whether the program may be implemented in a manner to enhance other state and federal programs. The agencies would also be required to establish and publish soil management guidelines for how to maintain and promote healthy soils, including best practices to improve soil health in agriculture, urban agriculture, and residential landscaping. The bill would also create an Urban Agriculture Site Soil Testing Fund to pay for soil testing and would redirect 2% of funds from the Global Warming Solutions Fund to support programs that improve soil health and carbon sequestration.