DAVIS, Calif., March 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic production may qualify for technical and financial assistance through a national organic initiative administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Applications for the second ranking period of 2012 are due at NRCS offices by March 30, for funding consideration during fiscal year 2012. Over $2 million in special organic funding will be available to eligible producers in California as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
"We're happy to offer conservation assistance for California's organic producers in 2012," said Alan Forkey, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Farm Bill Programs in California. "The current Farm Bill provides a special focus on assisting organic and transitioning producers which has allowed us a welcome opportunity to work more closely with this group with whom we share a strong conservation ethic," added Forkey.
Organic producers can receive up to $20,000 per year or $80,000 over six years through the special organic EQIP funding. The assistance targets over two dozen core conservation practices, including conservation crop rotation, cover crop, nutrient management, pest management and prescribed grazing.
This is a nationwide initiative to provide assistance to certified organic producers as well as producers transitioning to organic production. Applicants must either have an organic system plan or certify they are working toward one. Organic producers also may apply for assistance under general EQIP.
Interested producers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS Service Center. Contact information is available on the Web at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=CA.
NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information about NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
SOURCE USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service