May 12, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Agriculture and Industries, Department of

NRCS Funding Available for Organic Producers

Auburn – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett today announced another funding opportunity for Alabama certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production. Funding for the organic initiative is provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications are being accepted through May 20, 2011. While this is a continuous signup, applications for 2011 funding must be received by the cut-off date. Approved applicants may receive up to $20,000 per year not to exceed $80,000 in a 6 year period. NRCS offers conservation practices to assist organic producers address resource concerns related to soil condition, soil erosion, domestic animals, plant conditions, water quality, and fish and wildlife. NRCS also offers organic conservation activity plans to help transitioning organic applicants work toward their organic certification. This year the program includes funds for Seasonal High Tunnels also known as Hoop Houses. “High tunnels provide significant advantages to owners of small farms, limited resource farmers, and organic producers. Growers are given the opportunity to address existing resource concerns such as soil and plant conditions while providing the added benefit of expanding the growing season for locally grown crops,” says Dr. Puckett. Interested producers should visit their nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Individuals are not eligible for EQIP until they have completed the Farm Bill eligibility requirements. Contact your local NRCS or Farm Service Agency Office to begin this process. NRCS field offices are listed in the telephone directory under U.S. Department of Agriculture or on-line at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov

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