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NRCS Funding Available for Organic Production; Application Period Ends May 20, 2011

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Liza C. Moore
Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update
May 2011

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that funding is available for certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production to implement resource conservation practices. The application period for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program ends May 20, 2011. "Organic growers continue to express interest in program support to implement conservation practices," NRCS Chief Dave White said. "This additional opportunity will allow more producers to get assistance in protecting the natural resources on their land and creating conditions that help foster organic production." Up to $50 million is available this year through USDA’s Organic Initiative and NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help producers plan and implement conservation practices, like planting cover crops or utilizing integrated pest management plans. Eligible producers include those certified through USDA’s National Organic Program, those transitioning to organic, and those who meet organic standards but are ineligible for certification because their gross annual organic sales are less than $5,000.

Applications must be submitted through your local NRCS Service Center. Michigan’s state contact for the EQIP Organic Initiative is Steven Law, 3001 Coolidge Road, East Lansing, MI 48823, (517) 324-5282, steven.law@mi.usda.gov.