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What is the EQIP Organic Initiative?

USDA Organic Program

(¿Qué es la Iniciativa Orgánica EQIP?)

The EQIP Organic Initiative provides financial assistance to organic producers to help them implement a broad set of conservation practices to address resource concerns including, but not limited to:

  • Photo of organically-grown seasoning peppers in Puerto Rico.Developing a conservation plan
  • Establishing buffer zones
  • Planning and installing pollinator habitat
  • Improving soil quality and organic matter while minimizing erosion
  • Developing a grazing plan and supportive livestock practices
  • Improving irrigation efficiency
  • Enhancing cropping rotations and nutrient management

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 Organic-certified or are exempt from Organic certification agree to develop and work towards implementing an Organic System Plan (OSP) to meet NOP organic certification through USDA

Plantains with a Canavalia ensiformis cover crop.Who Can Apply

EQIP Organic applicants 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

Get Started with NRCS!

More Information

Contact:

Jaime Valentín, State Resource Conservationist, 787-766-5065