$1.8 Available in Nebraska for Organic Agriculture
May 8, 2009
Second NRCS Project Builds Organic Network, Local Information NRCS in Nebraska also offers educational opportunities to producers interested in farming organically.
The Organic Farming Statewide Project is a three-year education program to help farmers and ranchers transition to organic production. The project is partially funded through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and will be carried out in nine Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) areas.
Through this project, growers can get information at the local level from experienced organic farmers. Farm tours, information meetings, and statewide gatherings provide farmers the knowledge base and social environment needed to decide if their operation is suited for organic farming.
The nine RC&D's in the project are:
For more information about RC&D organic workshops and events visit www.nercd.com.
USDA announced this week that it will provide over $1.8 million in Nebraska to expand organic agriculture. Nationally, $50 million will be available. Program funding is through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Sign-up for the Organic Initiative funding will be May 11-29. Producers may still sign up after May 29; however, applications received by May 29 will be considered first for any funding.
According to Steve Chick, NRCS Nebraska state conservationist, "This is a great opportunity for Nebraska farmers and ranchers who have considered making the transition to organic agriculture or for organic producers wanting to expand their acres."
The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide program to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production.
Under the Organic Initiative participants will be required to apply some core conservation practices, if needed, to protect the land and water resources. The practices are: conservation crop rotation, cover crop; nutrient management; pest management; prescribed grazing; and forage harvest management. New organic producers or producers already with certified organic operations will be required to implement these EQIP practices based on the needs of the land and an approved organic system plan.
To Learn More
Additional information on the 2009 EQIP Organic Initiative is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/. Interested producers should visit their nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility.
May 6 News Release
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nebraska Office