Ron Brooks, Resources Conservationist (Program Contact)
Organic Producers USDA Financial Assistance
Applications taken through April 19, 2013
For More Information:
Ron Brooks, Resource Conservationist (Program contact): 208.378. 5724
Marlon Winger, Agronomist (Technical contact): 208.378.5730
Alexis Collins, Public Affairs Specialist: 208.685.6978
Boise, ID, March 14, 2013 – The Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS’s Organic Initiative provides financial assistance to certified organic producers as well as producers transitioning to organic production for resource conservation on their farms. To be considered for funding in fiscal year 2013, producers must apply by April 19, 2013.
“This is the second sign-up period for the 2013 fiscal year,” said Marlon Winger, Idaho NRCS State Agronomist. “We hope this additional opportunity will allow more organic producers to get assistance in protecting the natural resources on their land and creating conditions that foster organic production.”
The Organic Initiative is part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program that helps growers by funding a portion of the cost to implement specific conservation practices that remedy resource degrading problems. Producers contract with the NRCS to carry out the practices within a certain time period. Examples of practices covered by this initiative include cover crops, mulching, irrigation water management, and nutrient management. “There are conservation practices that can help any organic operation big or small,” Winger said. Practices must adhere to NRCS specifications.
“Most organic producers lack nitrogen in their crop rotation and cover crops can help,” Winger said. “The cover crop conservation practice can pay $30 to $89 per acre. More importantly cover crops benefit soil health and future crops by protecting soil from wind and water erosion, increasing soil biodiversity, and adding nitrogen to the soil.”
NRCS will evaluate the applications and sign contracts with producers with the highest ranking applications. While organic farmers are invited to sign up for any and all of the NRCS conservation programs, special funding authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill is set aside just for organic farmers and those transitioning to organic.
To find out about the Organic Initiative and eligibility requirements, contact your local NRCS office or go online to http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/organic.html.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).