National EQIP Initiatives
National On-Farm Energy Initiative
Under the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Title II, Subtitle F – EQIP, Section 2501 provides authority for use of EQIP (as a national purpose) to specifically address energy conservation through practice implementation and for development of an Agricultural Energy Management Plan. During fiscal year (FY) 2013, the program is designed to assist producers in two ways:
1) Identify ways to conserve energy on their farms through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP) conservation activity plan (CAP), also known as an on-farm energy audit; and also
2) Provide assistance to implement various recommended measures through the use of conservation practice standards offered through this initiative, such as the Farmstead Energy Improvement 374.
Only through implementation of recommended measures and conservation practices will energy conservation, efficiency, and savings be achieved.
National Organic Initiative
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management conservation practices on eligible agricultural land.
In addition, the 2008 Farm Bill included specific provisions for use of EQIP to provide assistance for organic growers to implement conservation practices consistent with organic production per the National Organic Program (NOP) requirements.
Through the EQIP Organic Initiative, NRCS provides assistance to eligible producers for installation of conservation practices on organic or agricultural operations transitioning to organic production. According to statute, eligible producers include those who agree to develop and carry out an organic system plan (OSP), or develop and implement conservation practices for certified organic production that are consistent with an OSP.
The assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the EQIP program helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to achieve increased conservation benefits on their operations. EQIP is primarily used to provide financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices to address soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources.
A new organic provision targets organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production:
Assistance is for conservation practices related to organic production
Assistance is limited to $20,000 per year and $80,000 during a six year period
Producers are required to develop and carry out an Organic System Plan (OSP) or carry out practices consistent with an OSP
National Organic Payment Rates
National Organic Initiative Ranking Questions
Other National Organic Initiative Information
Do I Need to be Certified Organic Factsheet
What is Organic Certification Factsheet
Producer Handout - National Organic Initiative Frequently Asked Questions (PDF; 45 KB)
National EQIP Organic Information
USDA Accredited Certifying Agents - Locate a USDA accredited Organic Certifying Agent in your area by following this link to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service site. Then choose the following link path: National Organic Program, Accreditation and Certification, Info for ACA's and Those Seeking Accreditation, and List of Accredited Certifying Agents.
For program information, please contact your local district conservationist at the nearest USDA Service Center.
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