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  • Important links

    USDA's Rural Development - NJ Office
         Rural and Community Development Programs
         Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants
         Rural Single Family and Multi-Family Housing
         Rural Business and Cooperative Services
    USDA's Farm Service Agency NJ Office
    NJ Economic Development Authority
    Growing New Farmers

    The Agricultural Economic Development Program works directly with agricultural producers, farm-related industries and rural communities. One-to-one problem solving, coupled with advocacy for the agriculture industry, has proven to be a successful way to resolve questions on economic, environmental, taxation, farm building construction and land use issues. These efforts are part of a rural public policy that provides services the agricultural business sector and rural communities need in order to take advantage of opportunities for economic growth.

    For information or assistance on the above topics, write NJDA, Agricultural Economic Development, PO Box 330, Trenton, N.J. 08625, call (609) 292-5536.

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  • AGRICULTURE CREDIT AND FINANCE

    While NJDA does not have a loan program for purchasing farm real estate or providing farm-operating capital, the department disseminates information and responds to questions on the availability of financing from federal, state, and commercial lending institutions for agricultural loans. Inquirers are advised on the importance of developing a business plan, financial records, and asset requirements in obtaining financing.

    For additional information, call (609) 292-5536.

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  • BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR AGRICULTURE, FOOD MANUFACTURING & RELATED INDUSTRIES

    To support agriculture and rural economic development, NJDA provides technical support services to existing as well as new agribusinesses in the Garden State including food manufacturers that add value to agricultural commodities.

    For additional information, call (609) 292-5536.  The Center For Farm Financial Management offers a variety of services including workshops.  Click here for their workshop, Interpreting Financial Statements and Measures.

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  • FARM BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

    NJDA offers technical assistance to farmers, architects, engineers, farm building consultants and agricultural contractors concerning the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (UCC) as it relates to farm buildings. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs administers the UCC.

    The UCC provides special construction code criteria for agricultural buildings when the main use of the structure is related to the production of agricultural or horticultural commodities produced on the farm in an amount of $2,500 or more.

    Under a 1996 amendment, all commercial farm buildings are classified as low hazard storage; site plans signed and sealed by a licensed professional for pre-manufactured grain bins, silos and manure-handling equipment building permits are no longer required; and there are no limits on the amount of farm materials or supplies which can be stored in the farm structure.

    The following fact sheets may answer any questions on farm building construction:

    Commercial Farm Buildings Fact Sheet (PDF)
    Temporary Greenhouse Fact Sheet (PDF)

    For additional information, call (609) 292-5536.

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  • MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATIONS FOR AGRICULTURE

    Motor vehicle regulations are administered by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. NJDA gives farmers and agribusinesses information and requirements concerning license plates for farm vehicles (farmer plates), requirements for the International Registration Plan (IRP), the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), and commercial drivers license provisions.

    Click here for the Motor Vehicle Laws and Regulations Impacting Farmers web page.

    For additional information on the International Registration Plan or the International Fuel Tax Agreement, call the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission's Motor Carrier Unit at (609) 633-9400; for additional motor vehicle information, visit the Motor Vehicle Commission at www.nj.gov/mvc/.

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  • REAL PROPERTY APPRAISAL MANUAL, FARM BUILDING SECTION

    The New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Taxation, with assistance from NJDA, updated New Jersey's Real Property Appraisal Manual, Farm Building Section.

    The farm building cost section includes changes in construction techniques and building materials. In recent years, pre-engineered post-and-frame structures in large have replaced the traditional masonry and frame structure due to their cost-effectiveness in construction. The farm building supplement to the Real Property Appraisal Manual for New Jersey Assessors provides the building specifications and cost schedules. Included in the document are cost conversion tables, depreciation factor tables plus various illustrations and definitions to assist the assessor in calculating replacement costs and accrued depreciation.

    For additional information, call (609) 292-5536.

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  • RECYCLING FOR AGRICULTURE

    Recycling saves valuable landfill space, extends the life of existing landfills and contributes to the Garden State's goal of recycling 60 percent of its solid waste. Agriculturalists help with recycling efforts by using leaves and grass clippings to mulch farm fields, and applying non-hazardous, non-contaminated food-processing by-products to farmland. NJDA helps the state's food processing industry find markets for soon-to-expire and expired food products, provides information on greenhouse film, nursery pots, plastic pesticide containers, mulch film and drip irrigation tape recycling and works closely with other agencies in matters that require creative recycling solutions for non-traditional materials.

    Click here to visit the Agricultural Recycling page.

    For additional information, call (609) 292-5532.

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  • RISK MANAGEMENT AND CROP INSURANCE

    The Garden State Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Program is a partnership between NJDA, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and USDA's Risk Management Agency. The purpose of this program is to provide New Jersey farmers with the most up-to-date information regarding risk management strategies and crop insurance. Used correctly, risk management strategies can spread, transfer, or reduce many different kinds of risks from a farming operation.

    Crop insurance has changed drastically, and new and updated policies are much different than the policies available several years ago. These policies offer better protection and are tailored to specific needs of the policyholder. The federal government now offers higher premium subsidies, making crop insurance more affordable.

    For additional information on the USDA's Risk Management Agency, visit http://www.rma.usda.gov/, Garden State Crop Insurance Education Initiative at http://salem.rutgers.edu/cropinsurance/index.html, or call (609) 292-6382 or e-mail daniel.wunderlich@ag.state.nj.us

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  • SALES AND USE TAX ON FARMER'S PURCHASES

    The New Jersey Sales and Use Tax Act imposes a seven percent tax on receipts from every retail sale of tangible personal property and the sale of certain services, except as otherwise provided in the Act. A farm enterprise may also incur a use tax liability when taxable goods or services are purchased for use in New Jersey but sales tax was not collected, or collected at a rate less than seven percent. The seller must collect the tax on a sale of taxable property or services unless the purchaser provides a proper completed New Jersey exemption certificate on items exempt from sales or use tax.

    Sales of tangible personal property as well as production and conservation services to a farmer are exempt from New Jersey sales and use tax when used directly and primarily in the production, handling and preservation for sale of agricultural or horticultural commodities at the farming enterprise of that farmer. The farmer's exemption does not apply to sales of motor vehicles with a gross vehicle rating of 18,000 lbs. or property to be used in constructing a building or structure with the exception of silos, greenhouses, grain bins, or manure-handling facilities. For sales and use tax purposes, a "farming enterprise" does not include an enterprise that is primarily engaged in boarding or training horses or in selling agricultural or horticultural products produced by others.

    Click here for a list of sales tax forms or here for the rule on Sale of Tangible Personal Property and Services used on Farms. For additional information call the NJ Division of Taxation's Regulatory Services and speak with a tax specialist at call center (609) 292-5994 or (609) 292-5995.

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  • TRESSPASS, VANDALISM, AND LIABILITY ON FARMS

    Trespass and vandalism is a significant problem to New Jersey's agriculture. It involves such things as damage caused by motorized vehicles, hot air balloons, horseback riders, woodcutters, and such actions as theft of agricultural products and property, injury to livestock, trash dumping, machinery theft and damage, and damage to agricultural structures. The rights of farmland owners and rural residents alike are protected by stiffer laws and penalties aimed at curbing trespass and vandalism.

    POSTING (N.J.S.A. 4:17-2) Farmland does not need to be posted in areas that are obviously in agricultural or horticultural use (such as plowed or tilled fields, standing crops or their residues, cranberry bogs, orchards, etc.) or on lands with a maintained fence restraining livestock. Lands that are not easily recognized as farm property, such as forests, lakes or streams, must still be posted in accordance with established practices. The minimum fine is $100 for each trespassing violation. If a violation is continuous, each day or time it occurs is a separate and distinct offense.

    DAMAGE (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-4, 18-5,18-6) If someone knowingly or recklessly operates a motor vehicle or rides horseback on farmland without written permission, or damages or injures any tangible property (such as fences, buildings, crops, live trees, animals, etc.), the person convicted of this offense must repay the farmland owner for damages, and also pay a fine of not less than $100. Written permission must be in the operator's possession when on the land.

    MOTOR VEHICLE DAMAGE (N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.5a) If a person operates a motor vehicle and destroys agricultural crops, fences, fields or other agricultural or recreational property ( such as a golf course or park) with that motorized vehicle, that person's driving record will be assessed motor vehicle points, regardless of whether the driver is licensed or not. If the person is underage or is not a licensed driver at the time of the violation, points will be assessed against the person's record when a license to operate a motor vehicle is issued.

    LIABILITY (N.J.S.A. 2A:42A-6) This law limits the liability of landowners for injuries sustained on their property, even if their written permission is given to enter the land. While the landowner is responsible to warn of any hazardous conditions that may exist, written permission does not guarantee safety, nor does the owner assume or incur liability if injuries are sustained by the actions of the persons on the property.

    (2A:42A-10) Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, an owner, lessee or occupant of agricultural or horticultural land shall not have a legal duty to protect a person who is invited onto the land for the purposes of picking or taking agricultural or horticultural products from the natural risks or hazards that are inherent characteristics of agricultural or horticultural land, and shall not be liable if such a person invited onto the land is injured because of any natural risks or hazards that are inherent characteristics of agricultural or horticultural land.

    Local law enforcement officials should be contacted regarding trespass or vandalism matters.

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