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FY2014 EQIP Organic Initiative

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Organic Production USDA Organic Logo



The Organic Initiative is designed to assist participants implement a wide variety of conservation practices related to organic farming. Organic food sales remain the fastest growing sector in the food industry, swelling by 18 percent in 2007, according to USDA’s Agriculture Census.

Assistance is available for agricultural producers who are:

  • Currently certified organic;
  • Transitioning to certified organic production (at any stage); or
  • Meeting organic certification standards but are exempt from certification because their gross annual organic sales are less than $5,000. The organic standards used must be consistent with an Organic Systems Plan.

NRCS conservationists will come to your farm and work with you to develop a conservation plan based on your farm goals. The plan will specify a timeline to implement the conservation practices. Conservation planning assistance is free and does not require participation in financial programs. Producers may be eligible for other NRCS conservation programs

General Program Information

  • There is no minimum acreage requirement to apply for EQIP
  • Producers under the Organic Initiative do not compete against non-organic farmers for the funds
  • Contracts can last from two to ten years
  • Payment rates for some core practices may be higher than rates for non-organic applications. Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged, and Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers may be eligible for higher payment rates.
  • Payments are limited to $20,000 per participant annually or $80,000 over a six year period.
  • Participants will be reimbursed for part of the cost of installing conservation practices after the practices have been installed

Eligible Practices and Payment Schedules

Example conservation practices include:

  • Conservation Crop Rotation
  • Seasonal High Tunnel Systems
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Cover Crops
  • Filter Strips
  • Irrigation Systems

A complete list of eligible organic conservation practices and corresponding payments are listed below. Payments are not authorized for activities or practice components which are solely production related and are not linked to an identified natural resource concern. Payments may not be used for any costs related to pursuing organic certification.

The following documents require Adobe Reader.

EQIP Organic Payment Schedules (PDF) - Coming Soon

Application Information

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

USDA Organic FruitsApplicants must meet the general eligibility requirements for EQIP, posted online at: EQIP Eligibility. In addition, certified organic producers must provide a copy of their Organic Systems Plan. Producers transitioning to organic must self certify their agreement to implement conservation practices per provisions and standards established in the National Organic Program administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Application Timeframe

EQIP applications (including Organic Initiative applications) can be submitted to local NRCS offices at any time during the year. However, applications must be submitted by October 1st each year to be considered for funding in the following fiscal year. Deadline announcement for batching initiatives must be submitted by March 21, 2014.


All information provided to NRCS for conservation planning purposes is strictly confidential.

2014 Application Screening and Ranking

The following documents require Adobe Reader.

Screening and Ranking (Click here) 

Other Resources

More Information

For more information contact your local USDA-NRCS Service Center to schedule a meeting to discuss available options. You may also contact the NRCS Utah State Office:

USDA Organic Vegetables