USDA will target $50 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for a new initiative to encourage more organic agriculture production. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan made the announcement Tuesday to USDA’s National Organic Standards Board.
The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Special sign-up runs May 11-29 under EQIP. The program will be open to growers switching to organic production or expanding their organic operations and certified organic farmers who want to expand stewardship work. Six practices will be eligible for support—conservation crop rotation, cover crops, integrated pest management, nutrient management, rotational grazing and forage harvest management.