USDA Announces Opportunity for Organic Producers to Implement Conservation Practices
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced another funding opportunity for certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production to implement resource conservation practices on their agricultural operations.
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Please contact your local NRCS Field Office to obtain an application.
Helping Louisiana farmers who are certified organic producers or are transitioning to organic
Organic Initiative - EQIP
The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) provides specific opportunities for organic producers and those transitioning to organic farming. Louisiana farmers who are transitioning to organic or who are currently certified organic can now apply to receive assistance under the Organic Initiative through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). NRCS administers EQIP and its applications for the Organic Initiative. Eligible producers include those certified through USDA’s National Organic Program, those transitioning to certified organic production, and those who meet organic standards but are exempt from certification because their gross annual organic sales are less than $5,000.
Organic Initiative funding is provided through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary conservation program that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. The 2008 Farm Bill provided assistance specifically for organic farm operations and those converting to organic production.
Under EQIP Organic Initiative contracts, NRCS provides financial payments and technical assistance to help producers implement conservation measures in keeping with organic production. Beginning, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged producers may obtain additional assistance.
Louisiana producers interested in applying for EQIP Organic Initiative funding must submit applications through their local NRCS office.
Conservation planning - technical assistance offered by the NRCS
Conservation Practices Available and Payment Schedule Rates
Please see the payment schedules below for which conservation practices are available for either certified organic producers or producers who are in transition to organic production. Also included are the rates of payment for the listed conservation practices.
To participate in the program, growers work with NRCS to develop a conservation plan that includes a detailed description of the conservation activities and practices they want to implement on their land. Examples of conservation practices that may benefit organic producers include:
328 Conservation Crop Rotation
340 Cover Crop
345 Residue And Tillage Management, Mulch Till
386 Field Border
393 Filter Strip
412 Grassed Waterway
441 Irrigation System, Micro Irrigation
512 Forage and Biomass Planting
528 Prescribed Grazing
533 Pumping Plant
550 Range Planting
578 Stream Crossing
587 Structure For Water Control
590 Nutrient Management
595 Pest Management
607 Surface Drain, Field Ditch
614 Watering Facility
633 Waste Utilization
642 Water Well
655 Forest Trails and Landings
717 Livestock Shade Structure
798 Seasonal High Tunnel System For Crops
Technical and Support Information for EQIP and Other NRCS Organic Activities