2009-06-04 / Local & State

NRCS Announces Second Round Of Ranking For Organic Funds

"Organic producers and producers transitioning to organic agriculture can now apply for financial and technical assistance through June 12," announced Barry Frantz, assistant state conservationist for programs.

Although the first round of ranking will occur with applications received by May 29, applications received by June 12 will be evaluated for the second round of ranking if funds are still available, said Frantz. Applications submitted after June 12 will be accepted, but may not be considered for funding in this year's cycle.

Under the Organic Initiative, a large number of conservation practices are eligible for funding if needed to solve farm-specific resource concerns. Core practices that receive additional consideration as part of the application evaluation process are conservation crop rotation, cover crop, nutrient management, post management, prescribed gracing and forage harvest management. Practices for soil erosion control, soil improvement, manure handling, water quality protection and grazing system improvements are also available.

Interested producers should visit their nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Producers will be asked to verify their organic status and may need to provide documents such as copies of organic plans. Additional information on the 2009 EQIP Organic Initiative is available at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov/farmers/organ ic/index.html.

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