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Organic Initiative

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Arizona producer utilizes the organic initiative.Organic Initiative

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Organic Production  

Overview

The Organic Initiative is designed to assist participants implement a wide variety of conservation practices related to organic farming.

Assistance is available for agricultural producers who are:

  • Currently certified organic;
  • Transitioning to certified organic production (at any stage); or
  • Meeting organic certification standards but are exempt from certification because their gross annual organic sales are less than $5,000. The organic standards used must be consistent with an Organic Systems Plan.

NRCS conservationists will come to your farm and work with you to develop a conservation plan based on your farm goals. The plan will specify a timeline to implement the conservation practices. Conservation planning assistance is free and does not require participation in financial programs. Producers may be eligible for other NRCS conservation programs

General Program Information

  • Producers under the Organic Initiative do not compete against non-organic farmers for the funds
  • Payment rates for some core practices may be higher than rates for non-organic applications. Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged, and Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers may be eligible for higher payment rates.
  • Payments are limited to $20,000 per participant annually or $80,000 over a six year period.
  • Participants will be reimbursed for part of the cost of installing conservation practices after the practices have been installed 

Application Information

Organic Initiative

Application Timeframe
 

EQIP applications (including Organic Initiative applications) can be submitted to local NRCS offices at any time during the year. Applications to be considered for fiscal year 2013 funding must be submitted by January 18, 2013. Interested applicants should contact their local NRCS field office.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements for EQIP. In addition, certified organic producers must provide a copy of their Organic Systems Plan. Producers transitioning to organic must self-certify their agreement to implement conservation practices per provisions and standards established in the National Organic Program administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Other Resources

More Information:

NRCS National Organic Initiative Website

Contact                                                                                                                

Primary
Kris Graham-Chavez, Resource Conservationist
Organic EQIP Program Manager
Phone: (602) 280-8842
Email:
Kristin.Grahamchavez@az.usda.gov

Dennis Kimberlin, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: (602) 280-8800
Email: dennis.kimberlin@az.usda.gov