Application Deadline for USDA Organic Initiative
DOVER, Del., April 27, 2012 –
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist
Russell Morgan reminds local organic farmers and those transitioning to
organic production practices to contact their local NRCS office soon to
find out if they are eligible for the agency’s Organic Initiative.
June 1, 2012
is the cut-off date for applications to be considered in the third
ranking period of fiscal year (FY) 2012, although applications are
always accepted on a continuous basis.
The Organic Initiative is
funded through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Interested farmers must submit their applications through the local USDA
NRCS Service Center.
“Although Delaware has a
small population of organic growers, NRCS is committed to helping these
farmers implement conservation practices that have been proven
beneficial to organic production,” said Morgan. “This Organic
Initiative has made financial and technical resources readily available
to local growers to improve the management and productivity of their
Since FY 2009, NRCS has
provided $172,000 in financial assistance to Delaware 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.
The EQIP Organic
Initiative offers a wide array of conservation practices specifically
designed for organic production. The top six Organic Initiative
conservation practices are cover crops, nutrient management, integrated
pest management, seasonal high tunnels, crop rotation, and fencing.
Changes for 2012 include
three ranking periods for current and transitioning producers; a
threshold ranking score that can speed up approval for qualified
applicants; required conservation practices that promote the consistent
use of those practices; and an expanded list of conservation activity
Learn more about the
Organic Initiative and other programs and services at
www.de.nrcs.usda.gov. To apply, contact your local USDA Service
Center. In Sussex County, call 302-856-3990 x 3; in Kent County, call
302-741-2600 x 3; in New Castle County, call 302-832-3100 x 3.
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