RALEIGH,—Organic farming conservation practices will now be eligible for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) cost-share funds. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $50 Million for a new initiative to meet the Obama Administration’s promise to encourage more organic agriculture production. North Carolina will receive $1,021,496 under the new initiative.
The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP.
Under the Organic Initiative required minimum core conservation practices will be determined by specific resource concerns. The practices include: Conservation Crop Rotation; Cover Crop; Nutrient Management; Pest Management; Prescribed Grazing; and Forage Harvest Management.
North Carolina will include other conservation practices that address the resource concerns found on farms in the state.
Applications received from organic producers or producers in transition to organic farming will be accepted under this initiative between May 11 and May 29. Applications will be ranked at that time.
The 2009 Organic Initiative will be administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Interested producers should visit their nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Additional information on the 2009 EQIP Organic Initiative is available at: