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Obama administration pledges $50M for organics

FRESNO, Calif. (AP)--The Obama administration is pledging $50 million to help interested farmers nationwide adopt organic agricultural practices.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the funds May 5 while speaking to the USDA's National Organic Standards Board. The funding will be part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, a voluntary resources conservation program.

The USDA will accept applications May 11 to 29 from farmers who want to make the transition to organic and those who want to expand their operations.

Practices eligible for funding include rotating crops, the planting of cover crops, managing pests and nutrients and enhancing pasture grasses through controlled grazing.

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