INDIANAPOLIS -- State Conservationist Jane Hardisty of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced recently that $766,948 is available in Indiana for a new initiative to encourage conservation on organic farms.
Funding for the initiative is being made available as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
"Assisting organic producers is one of the priorities of the 2008 Farm Bill," Hardisty said. "The objective of this initiative is to make organic producers eligible to compete for EQIP financial assistance to address their resource concerns."
The 2010 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.
Some of the opportunities available through this initiative include Conservation Crop Rotation, Cover Crop, Nutrient Management, Prescribed Grazing, and buffers such as filter strips and windbreaks. Additional practices are also available to address a variety of resource concerns.
NRCS will accept applications from organic producers or producers in transition to organic farming under this initiative until April 1.
Ranking criteria have been established based on resource concerns that link to the National Organic Program (NOP) objectives. Find more information about NOP on the USDA website at http://www.usda.gov/ by choosing the subject 'Agriculture,' then clicking on 'Organic Certification,' under related topics.
In addition to the 2010 Organic Initiative, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture may offer additional assistance with certification. Indiana producers may go to http://www.in.gov/isda/2399.htm for additional information.