Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Need Help Applying for EQIP Funding?

Organic farmers and farmers who are transitioning to an organic operation have until June 1 to apply for a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) program that can help them pay for conservation measures. And the National Center for Appropriate Technology's ATTRA program staff can help them meet the deadline.

NRCS has up to $50 million dollars to award in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). The program is a significant opportunity for organic and transitioning organic farmers to get financial assistance to implement conservation practices that are consistent with organic production practices.

Some of the practices that NRCS has identified as being beneficial to organic producers include the following:

• Irrigation and water management, including such items as efficient irrigation upgrades, irrigation scheduling, and tailwater recovery systems

• Grazing management, such as fencing, stockwater systems, and range and pasture planting

• Nutrient management, including manure-storage structures, planned nutrient applications, and soil testing

• Pest management, including crop- and pest-monitoring activities and planned pesticide applications

• Erosion control, such as grade-control structures, diversions, and water- and sediment-control basins

• Wildlife-habitat enhancement, such as stream buffers, fish screens, fish passage, and upland wildlife-habitat establishment

EQIP funding is competitive; however, there is a significant amount of funds still available just weeks before the deadline.

If you need more information on applying for EQIP funds, check the ATTRA program website for details or call our the toll-free hotline at 800-346-9140.

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