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Organic Initiative-USDA NRCS

EQIP-Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) - California

OTI Application Date: February 16, 2024

What is the Organic Transition Initiative (OTI)?

The Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) is a multi-agency USDA effort to provide comprehensive support for farmers transitioning to organic production, including technical assistance, pinpointed market development, and financial support. 


Organic Management Through NRCS

NRCS will dedicate financial and technical assistance to a new organic management standard and partner with new organic technical experts to increase staff capacity and expertise.  

The investment, which includes funds from the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), will help build new and better markets and income streams, strengthen local and regional food systems and increase affordable food supply for more Americans, while promoting climate-smart agriculture and ensuring equity for all producers.  

NRCS will dedicate $70 million to assist producers with a new organic management standard under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).    

NRCS will help producers adopt the new organic management standard, which allows flexibility for producers to get the assistance and education they need such as attending workshops or requesting help from experts or mentors. It supports conservation practices required for organic certification and may provide foregone income reimbursement for dips in production during the transition period.


Eligible Practices

Core Practice*

  • 823 - Organic Management

Facilitating Practices and Activities

  • 138 - Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition (CPA)
  • 140 - Transition to Organic Design (DIA)
  • 327 - Conservation Cover
  • 328 - Conservation Crop Rotation
  • 340 - Cover Crop
  • 386 - Field Border
  • 590 - Nutrient Management

*Note: All EQIP-OTI contracts must include the core practice, 823 - Organic Management

Higher payment rates and other options are available for underserved producers including socially disadvantaged, beginning, veteran, and limited resource farmers and ranchers.    


Upcoming Dates

Application Date: February 16, 2024


More Information

Fact Sheet: Organic Transition Initiative Fact Sheet

USDA's Organic Transition Initiative via Organic Transition Initiative

Learn More about EQIP

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - California