Christie Whitman joined New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture
Art Brown, Jr., and New Jersey Environmental Protection
Commissioner Bob Shinn today in announcing that farmers
suffering serious economic losses as a result of
deer foraging in their fields are now eligible for
deer fencing under a joint initiative of NJDA and
year New Jersey’s deer population takes a big
bite out of agriculture’s bottom line," Whitman
noted. "This important program will give farmers
an effective, humane way to keep deer from literally
eating their profits."
State farmers lose millions of dollars worth of crops
each year to deer herds," Brown said. "By increasing
the amount of funding available through the Fish
and Game deer fencing program, we can help prevent
production losses which ultimately jeopardize the
viability of our farms."
NJDA has added $300,000 to DEP’s
Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife’s (FGW) 1998 deer fencing
program to maximize distribution of effective fencing to farmers.
FGW will purchase and distribute the fencing and farmers will be
responsible for installation and maintenance. The fencing will be
six feet high, topped with two strands of high tensil wire and have
a service life of approximately 20 years. "The Division of Fish,
Game and Wildlife works to reduce deer populations in the primary
agricultural areas of the state through a very liberal hunting season," said
FGW Division Director Bob McDowell. "However, there are many areas
in the state where hunter access is limited or prohibited, resulting
in very high deer populations. When farmers suffer economic losses,
the division helps them implement deer damage control programs that
include deer depredation permits and protective fencing and repellents." McDowell
added that fencing is the preferred and most effective option.
Applications for the supplemental deer
fencing program will be available beginning April 15 at any County
Agricultural Cooperative Extension office, FGW and NJDA offices in
Trenton, or at the FGW field offices listed below. Applications must
be returned to FGW or postmarked no later than May 29. For further
information, farmers can contact FGW at (908) 735-8793 or (609) 292-6685.
Clinton WMA, 7 VanSyckles Road, Hampton;
Assunpink WMA, 386 Clarksburg-Robbinsville Road, Robbinsville;
Southern Regional Office, 220 New Brooklyn-Blue Anchor Road, Sicklerville;
Pequest Natural Resource Education Center, 605 Pequest Road, Oxford.