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News Release

NRCS Announces Applications for Organic Initiative due March 30

Applications for Organic Initiative due March 30

March 7, 2012

For More Information:
Tanya Koch, Public Affairs, 701-530-2096


BISMARCK, ND March 7, 2012 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Mary Podoll reminds potential applicants to contract their local NRCS office to find out if they are eligible for the agency’s Organic Initiative. Applications for the second ranking period of 2012 are due at NRCS offices by close of business on March 30, 2012. The NRCS Office Locator is available at http://go.usa.gov/Uo8.

“The Organic Initiative offers a great way for NRCS to help organic farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices on their lands,” said State Conservationist Mary Podoll. “As organic production continues to grow in North Dakota, NRCS is looking to partner with eligible producers to help provide them with the tools they need to be successful organic farmers and ranchers.”

Nationwide, NRCS has nearly $50 million in financial and technical assistance available to 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.

Part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Organic Initiative offers a wide array of conservation practices specifically designed for organic production. “Practices will help the selected applicants meet many requirements of their USDA Organic System Plans and stay in compliance with USDA’s National Organic Program,” State Conservationist Podoll said.

The top five Organic Initiative conservation practices are cover crops, nutrient and pest management, seasonal high tunnels, crop rotation, and fencing.

Changes for the 2012 signups 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 plans.

Learn more about the Organic Initiative at http://go.usa.gov/Uo9 and find out about other NRCS initiatives and programs at http://go.usa.gov/UoX. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

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For more information about NRCS conservation programs, visithttp://www.nrcs.usda.gov or visit your local USDA service center.


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