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Conservation Funds Available For Organic, Transitioning Growers
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/24/2011

Wisconsin agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic production, may qualify for technical and financial assistance through a special initiative of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The agency reported that funding will be available to eligible producers through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Organic producers must submit applications by March 4 for funding consideration in 2011.

Organic producers can receive up to $20,000 per year or $80,000 over six years through this initiative. The Organic Initiative targets conservation practices such as Conservation Crop Rotation, Cover Crop, Nutrient Management, Pest Management, and Prescribed Grazing. In Wisconsin, there are more than three dozen additional practices that can qualify for funding through this initiative, said State Conservationist Pat Leavenworth.

This is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to certified organic producers as well as producers transitioning to organic production.

Applicants must either have an organic system plan or certify that they are working toward one. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP.

NRCS encourages organic producers and those transitioning to organic production to contact their local USDA Service Center and learn more about this opportunity before the March 4 sign-up deadline.

For more information, visit Wisconsin NRCS at www.wi.nrcs.usda.gov

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