May 13, 2011
The deadline to apply for the Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) Organic Initiative Program is coming up fast. USDA has allocated $50 million for the Organic Initiative Program in 2011, which is available for all three of the following: certified organic growers, those transitioning to organic farming systems, and farmers exempt from formal certification.*
The Organic Initiative offers financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to implement new conservation practices, like cover cropping, pest management, crop rotation, stream buffers, hedgerow planting, and various other practices.
Interested farmers and ranchers have until May 20, 2011, to sign up for the 2011 program.
The Organic Initiative is available to agriculture producers who are:
*Also included are “exempt producers,” whose gross agricultural income from organic sales total $5,000 or less annually but who still comply with the applicable organic production, handling, and labeling requirements mandated for certified organic producers.
To sign up, visit your USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) local service center. Producers will have to fill out an NRCS-CPA-1200 application to sign up officially; whatever information farmers cannot fill out on their own, they should fill out with the help of NRCS staff.
Learn more about the Initiative.