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Washington's 2016 EQIP Organic Initiative

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The  EQIP Organic Initiative

This assistance helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to support the environmental sustainability of their organic operations. Some highlights of the organic provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill and requirements for participation in the program include:

  • Financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices and planning to address resource concerns associated with organic operations
  • Financial assistance is limited to totals of a maximum of $20,000 per fiscal year AND no more than $80,000 over a rolling six year Farm Bill for ALL contracts approved through this authority
  • Producers must meet all the other eligibility requirements associated with EQIP
  • Participants who are not certified or exempt from certification agree to develop and work towards implementing an Organic System Plan (OSP) to meet NOP organic certification through USDA

Who Can Apply

Each fiscal year, NRCS will focus financial and technical assistance through the EQIP Organic Initiative for eligible applicants and land. The applicant must demonstrate control of eligible land in agricultural production. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, and other farm or ranch lands. Applicants should use the following categories to identify their current or future production system.

Certified Organic

Certified organic producers shall provide NRCS with a copy of their USDA NOP Organic Certificate or proof of good standing from a USDA accredited certifying agent and certification must be maintained for the life of the EQIP contract.

Exempt from Certification of the National Organic Program (NOP)

Exempt producers who are selling less than $5,000 a year in organic agricultural products are exempt from NOP’s certification. Exempt organic producers are eligible for the EQIP Organic Initiative provided that they self-certify that they agree to develop and implement an OSP.

Transitioning to Organic

Participants who are transitioning to organic production shall self-certify that they agree to develop and work toward implementing an Organic System Plan (OSP).

How to Apply

To participate in the program, growers must work with NRCS to identify and plan conservation measures. NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to develop a conservation plan that includes a detailed description of the conservation activities and practices they want to implement on their land. For more detailed information, go to the EQIP Application Process FAQ. Eligible lands for the Organic Initiative are Cropland, Headquarters, Pasture and Rangelands.

Funding Selection and Priorities

Priorities for EQIP funding are based on identified natural resource needs that are consistent with state and national EQIP priorities. Applications that best address natural resources as described in the ranking criteria are prioritized for funding.

  • EQIP National, State and Local Ranking Questions - COMING SOON!

Organic Conservation Planning

Organic Factsheet final



New Fact Sheet:
Transitioning to Organic
 (PDF; 2MB)

 

NRCS Organic and Sustainable Agriculture webinars

USDA NRCS organic and sustainable agriculture webinars are typically scheduled the first Tuesday of even-numbered months and start at 3:00 PM Eastern / 12:00 PM Pacific. There is no charge to participate, and continuing education credits and/or training certificates are available to document participation. Live webinars are recorded to provide access to an on-demand replay. These webinars are presented in partnership with Oregon Tilth.

 

Supplemental Resources

NRCS Resources

Other USDA Agency Websites

For additional Organic Initiative information, contact your nearest NRCS field office or:

State Point of Contact

Tracy Hanger
State Agronomist
509.323.2974

Technical Contacts

Eastern Washington Contact                Central Washington Contact               Western Washington Contact

Tracy Hanger    509.323.2974               Kevin Davis  509.754.3023 x 1124         Marty Chaney    360.704.7751
    Cropland
John Kouns     509.659.1761 x 113
    Pasture/Rangeland