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National Organic Initiative

National Organic Initiative - North Carolina

The National Organic Initiative is a voluntary conservation initiative that enables the use of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural lands already certified as organic or transitioning to organic.

To participate producers must meet all eligibility criteria for the EQIP program and be in one of the following categories:

  • Already certified as an organic grower with a Organic System Plan on at least part of their acres, or
  • Be in the process of transitioning to an organic system.

Legal Authority

  • Section 2510 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) establishes EQIP (16 U.S.C. 3839aa and 7 CFR 1466).

  • Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1935, 16 U.S.C. 590a et seq.

Initiative Description

The National Organic Initiative is being offered to enable organic farmers to participate in EQIP.  NRCS is providing 50 million dollars nationwide during 2009 for this initiative.  Organic Initiative provides applicants the advantage of competing in their own funding pool rather than with all other EQIP applications. 

Initiative Criteria

Certified producers must provide a copy of their Organic System Plan (OSP) at the time of application.  Producers who are transitioning to an organic system must provide NRCS with a letter stating that they �agree to develop and implement conservation practices for certified organic production that are consistent with an Organic System Plan (OSP).� 

Practices Offered Under EQIP Organic
Agrichemical Handling Facility Waste Storage Facility Brush Management Herbaceous Weed Control Animal Mortality Facility
Compost Facility Channel Bank Vegetation Conservation Cover Conservation Crop Rotation Residue Management, No-Till/Strip Till/ Direct Seed
Prescribed Burning Cover Crop Critical Area Planting Well Decommissioning Closurement of Waste Impoundment
Diversion Anerobic Digester Waster Facility Cover Fence Field Border
Filter Strip Fire Break Fish Passage Grade Stabilization Structure Grassed Waterway
Hedgerow Planting Irrigation Pipeline Irrigation System - Microirrigation Line Waterway or Outlet Access Control
Mulching Tree & Shrub Site Preparation Pasture and Hay Planting Pipeline Prescribed Grazing
Pumping Plant Drainage Water Management Roof Runoff Structure Access Road Heavy Use Area Protection
Spring Development Animal Trail or Walkway Stream Crossing Stream bank and Shoreline Protection Channel Stabilization
Structure for Water Control Nutrient Management Pest Management Terrace Subsurface Drain
Tree/Shrub Establishment Watering Facility Underground Outlet Waste Transfer Water Well
Restoration and Management of Declining Habitat Upland Wildlife Habitat Management Early Successional Habitat Development and Management Forest Stand Improvement Seasonal High Tunnel


Producers engaged in livestock or agricultural production are eligible for the program. A producer may be the owner or operator of a farm or ranch.  Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pasture, and other farm or ranch lands.

National Organic Initiative webpage

EQIP Organic Program Documents

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel

2014 Payment Schedule, Organic (PDF, 196 KB) (Last Modified 12/13/2013)

Organic Initiative Overview (PDF; 80KB) (Last Modified 5/25/2010)

Key Terms and Definitions (PDF, 65KB) (Last Modified 05/14/2009)

National Organic Program Information Sheet (PDF, 40 KB) (Last Modified 05/14/2009)

Program Contact

Greg Walker, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 919-873-2104