Here is some exciting news from Stuart Ashby Lee regarding Organic Agriculture and Seasonal High Tunnels and the NRCS-EQIP!
On behalf of the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) I would like to share with you exciting news about funding opportunities for seasonal high tunnels for corps and the Organic Initiative through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Below, I have included a Web link that will provide you with information about financial assistance offered for organic agricultural production and seasonal high tunnels. As always, if you have any questions about the attached information, links or NRCS, please contact me at any time. Stuart Ashby Lee, USDA-NRCS North Carolina, State Public Affairs Specialist, 4407 Bland RD, Ste 117, Raleigh, NC 27609. Phone: 919-873-2107. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding Opportunities Through EQIP:
- Applications for seasonal high tunnels should be received by your local NRCS field office no later than February 12, 2010
- Organic Farmers Sign-Up by March 12, 2010
Subject: High Tunnels to Reach New Heights In North Carolina
Raleigh, NC - High hope for high tunnels as the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) expands its ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative to North Carolina. The initiative will provide opportunities for farmers to establish seasonal high tunnel systems for crops – also known as hoop houses – to increase the availability of locally grown produce in a conservation friendly way.
Unlike greenhouses, seasonal high tunnels use no energy, other than sunlight – saving money and valuable energy resources. Other resource benefits include improved pest management and plant condition. Seasonal high tunnels also provide a longer growing season.
“Seasonal high tunnels extend the growing season, which means a greater supply of locally grown produce on dinner tables across North Carolina,” said NRCS Acting State Conservationist JB Martin. “Ultimately, it’s a great opportunity for our producers and the state.”
Made of ribs of plastic or metal pipe covered with a layer of plastic sheeting, high tunnels are easy to build, maintain and move for crop rotations. Proactive conservation practices are installed around the tunnel to prevent soil erosion from runoff.
Traditional agricultural producers interested in utilizing seasonal high tunnels on currently cultivated cropland may qualify for financial assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). A special EQIP sign-up period has been established exclusively for seasonal high tunnels. Applications for seasonal high tunnels should be received by your local NRCS Field Office no later than February 12.
Under the EQIP Organic Initiative, organic producers and producers who are transitioning to organic production can also receive financial assistance to establish a number of “core” conservation practices, which includes seasonal high tunnels to be utilized on cultivated cropland. Applications for EQIP Organic Initiative applications must be received by March 12 at your local field office.
For more information on NRCS, EQIP, high tunnels and for contact information on your nearest NRCS field office, please visit us on the Web at www.nc.nrcs.usda.gov.