EQIP Funding for Conservation on Organic Lands
Posted on: 05/10/2012 1:58 pm
Organic Initiative Targets Local Resource Concerns
NRCS seeks ag producer applications for financial, technical assistance
Spokane, WA (Mar. 1, 2012) –Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington announced that $750,000 is available in funding for the Organic Initiative. Through the Organic Initiative producers can receive funding to implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns in ways that are consistent with organic production.
While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, the cutoff date for this application period is June 1, 2012.
Eligible producers include those certified through USDA’s National Organic Program, those transitioning to certified organic production, and those who meet organic standards but are exempt from certification because their gross annual organic sales are less than $5,000.
Organic Initiative funding is provided through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary conservation program that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. The 2008 Farm Bill provided assistance specifically for organic farm operations and those converting to organic production.
Under EQIP Organic Initiative contracts, NRCS provides financial payments and technical assistance to help producers implement conservation measures in keeping with organic production. Beginning, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged producers may obtain additional assistance. The 2008 Farm Bill limits EQIP payments for organic operations to $20,000 per year, per person or legal entity, with a maximum total of $80,000 over six years.
The Organic Initiative is one of 15 Landscape Conservation Initiatives that address resource concerns of national importance by helping America’s landowners implement voluntary conservation practices to protect water quality, improve wildlife habitat and enhance the long-term sustainability of producers’ operations.
“Through landscape initiative partnerships we’re maximizing conservation efforts to address some of our most pressing natural resource challenges,” NRCS Chief Dave White said. “The result is far-reaching and long-lasting environmental benefits for the Nation.”
Producers interested in applying for EQIP Organic Initiative funding should contact their local field office, located through the web site at: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app
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