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Published February 02, 2010, 12:37 PM

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) organic initiative

Agricultural producers looking to solve natural resource problems on their farms should apply now for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) administered by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Agricultural producers looking to solve natural resource problems on their farms should apply now for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) administered by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The Organic Initiative for both certified and transitional producers continues to be a national EQIP initiative. Producers in Minnesota applying under the Organic Initiative will be eligible for all of the practices in the Practice Payment Schedule. Organic applicants will compete within a $1.7 Million funding pool.

The organic initiative is designed to assist organic and transitioning organic agriculture producers with the opportunity to enhance conservation on their operations. The initiative allows producers to receive up to $20,000 per year or $80,000 over six years. EQIP payments are set up by a contract that can last over several years.

Completed applications must be received at local NRCS Field Offices throughout Minnesota by March 12 in order to be considered for this funding period.

“Through EQIP, landowners interested in conservation practices are provided both technical assistance and financial assistance to install eligible practices,” said Jennifer Heglund, Minnesota Acting State Conservationist, for NRCS.

Participation in EQIP is limited to agricultural producers. Organic producers, limited resource farmers, beginning farmers, and underserved farmers were designated in the 2008 Farm Bill as focused outreach groups and may benefit from EQIP. EQIP provides assistance for a wide variety of conservation practices treating cropland, grazing, forestry, feedlots, and wildlife.

To find out more about EQIP in Minnesota, contact your local NRCS field office or visit the MN NRCS website: www.mn.nrcs.usda.gov

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