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EQIP Organic Initiative

(en Español)

coffee plantThe 2008 Farm Bill highlights the availability of financial and technical assistance to help producers of all commodities meet their conservation goals, including producers transitioning to organic farming and currently certified organic producers. helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to allow their organic operations to be environmentally sustainable. EQIP is primarily used to provide financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices to address soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources.

Eligible producers include those who agree to develop and carry out an organic system plan (OSP), or those who develop and implement conservation practices for certified organic production that are consistent with an OSP. Eligible producers also include those whose gross agricultural income from organic sales total $5,000 or less annually, but who still comply with the applicable organic production, handling, and labeling requirements mandated for certified organic producers.

Applications for the second round of this initiative will be accepted until March 30, 2012 in all NRCS offices in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Visit our Directory for our office locations and telephone numbers.

Key highlights of the new organic provision include:

  • 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.
  • Producers must be pursuing an organic certification or in compliance with their organic certification.
  • Applications are evaluated and ranked (Ranking Questionnaire, PDF; 74 KB) according to the following NRCS primary resource concern categories:
    • Soil Condition
    • Soil Erosion
    • Domestic Animals
    • Plant Condition
    • Water Quality
    • Fish and Wildlife
  • The following secondary resource concerns are also considered but may not be used to approve an application unless one of the "primary" resource concerns is also addressed in the plan of operations.
    • Water Quantity
    • Air Quality
    • Energy Conservation

Payment Rates for the Caribbean Area

  • 75% - Regular program
  • 90% - Limited resource farmers, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, historically underserved farmers. (For details on who qualifies as a Limited resource, beginning, socially-disadvantaged or historically-underserved farmer, please visit the NRCS Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers & Ranchers site.)

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements of the USDA and must have their farms registered in the Farm Services Agency Offices (FSA). If you are not registered please contact the FSA office that serves your area as soon as possible.

More Information

Contact:

Jaime Valentín, State Resource Conservationist, 787-766-5206 Ext. 121,