California agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic production are invited to apply for technical and financial assistance through a national organic initiative administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Applications for this ranking period are due at NRCS offices by Friday, April 19, for funding consideration this fiscal year.
Over $3 million in special organic funding is available to eligible producers in California as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
“Organic producers and those transitioning to organic have become more frequent visitors to our conservation offices in recent years,” said Alan Forkey, NRCS assistant state conservationist for Farm Bill Programs in California.
The 2008 Farm Bill included a special focus on assisting organic and transitioning producers, Forkey explained, and gradually the word has gotten out.
“It is a great mutual opportunity for our conservationists to work more closely with this group with whom we share a strong sustainability ethic,” added Forkey.
Organic producers can receive up to $20,000 per year or $80,000 over six years through the special organic EQIP funding.
The assistance targets over two dozen core conservation practices, including conservation crop rotation, cover crop, nutrient management, pest management and prescribed grazing.
This is a nationwide initiative to provide assistance to certified organic producers as well as producers transitioning to organic production.
Applicants must either have an organic system plan or certify they are working toward one.
Organic producers also may apply for assistance under general EQIP.
Interested producers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS Service Center. Contact information is available at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=CA .
NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935.
For more information about NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov .