NSAC's Blog

Deadline to Apply for FY 2011 Organic Initiative Support Next Week

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:

  • Just beginning or already in the process of transitioning to certified organic production,
  • Existing certified organic farmers (or exempt*) who are transitioning additional acres or herds;
  • Existing certified organic farmers (or exempt*) who need to adopt additional conservation   measures to fully address particular natural resource and environmental concerns; and
  • Existing certified organic farmers (or exempt*) who want to both transition additional production AND adopt additional conservation measures on existing certified organic ground (a combination of the third and fourth bullet point).

*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.

NRCS has provided a list of points of contact for organics in each state.  View the list updated by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).

Learn more about the Initiative.

Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment, Grants and Programs, Organic

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