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Published April 27, 2011, 09:38 AM

Grants encourage eco-friendly organic farming

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The federal government has opened a second enrollment period in South Dakota for organic farmers and ranchers to apply for an incentive program that encourages management practices considered good for the environment.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The federal government has opened a second enrollment period in South Dakota for organic farmers and ranchers to apply for an incentive program that encourages management practices considered good for the environment.

The program is offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

To qualify, producers must be USDA-certified and have annual sales of $1,000 to $5,000.

A program administrator told The Argus Leader that seven grants have been awarded so far. Last year, 39 producers signed up.

Contracts are for three years. Payments are capped at $20,000 per year, per person, or $80,000 over six years.

The application deadline is May 20.

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