2009 organic initiative makes over $1.5 million available in Kansas as part of EQIP
Sign-up May 11 to 29
Speaking on May 5, to the USDA National Organic Standards Board, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $50 million for a new initiative to meet the Obama Administration's promise to encourage more organic agriculture production. Funding for the initiative is being made available as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
"Assisting organic producers is a priority of the 2008 farm bill as well as for Secretary Vilsack and the Obama Administration," said Merrigan. "The objective of this initiative is to make organic food producers eligible to compete for EQIP financial assistance."
According to Eric B. Banks, Kansas Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist, Kansas received over $1.5 million for the initiative. Applications received from organic producers or producers in transition to organic farming will be accepted under this initiative from May 11 through May 29. Producers may still sign up for the Organic Initiative after May 29. However, applications received through May 29 will be ranked at that time and considered for funding.
The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP.
"The Kansas NRCS continues to support the EQIP Organic Initiatives," said Banks. "The Kansas NRCS is working with our conservation partners to provide training to field office employees to improve NRCS technical assistance related to organic production systems."
Under the Organic Initiative required minimum core conservation practices will be determined by specific resource concerns. The practices are: Conservation Crop Rotation; Cover Crop; Nutrient Management; Pest Management; Prescribed Grazing; and Forage Harvest Management. States must consider using any appropriate practice that meets the resource concern on a particular operation.
Ranking criteria has been established based on resource concerns that link to the NOP objectives and the core conservation practices.
Visit your local NRCS office for more details about conservation planning and programs to help you protect your farm. For more information about EQIP, go to http://www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/ and click on Kansas 2009 EQIP Information.