Final Applications for NRCS Organic Initiative Due June 1
Annapolis, Md., April 30, 2012 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Jon Hall reminds potential applicants to contact their local NRCS office soon to find out if they are eligible for the agency’s Organic Initiative. Applications for the final ranking period of 2012 are due at NRCS offices by close of business on June 1, 2012. The NRCS Office Locator is available at http://go.usa.gov/Uo8.
“Organic farming in Maryland is growing, and NRCS is committed to helping these farmers implement conservation practices that have been proven beneficial to organic production,” said Hall. “The Organic Initiative makes financial and technical resources readily available to local growers to improve the management and productivity of their operation.”
Since FY 2009, NRCS has provided $450,000 in financial assistance to Maryland certified organic producers, those who want to make the transition to organic production, and producers who sell less than $5,000 in organic products annually. Approximately $50 million is available nationwide in FY 2012.
Part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Organic Initiative offers a wide array of conservation practices specifically designed for organic production. “Practices will help the selected applicants meet many requirements of their USDA Organic System Plans and stay in compliance with USDA’s National Organic Program,” Hall said.
The top five Organic Initiative conservation practices are cover crops, nutrient and pest management, seasonal high tunnels, crop rotation, and fencing.
This is the last opportunity for organic funding in 2012. While applications are accepted year-round, landowners are encouraged to visit their local office today.
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