The National Organic Initiative, funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), is a voluntary conservation program that provides technical and financial assistance for organic farmers and ranchers, or those interested in transitioning to organic. NRCS can help organic producers improve their operations or help producers transition to organic using a conservation plan tailored to their needs.
The EQIP Organic Initiative
- Financial assistance is limited to no more than $140,000 total over the 2018 Farm Bill years, 2019 through 2023.
- Certified Organic - producers with a USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Organic Certificate or proof of good standing from a USDA accredited certifying agent. The certification must be maintained for the life of the EQIP contract.
- Exempt from Certification of the NOP - producers who are selling less than $5,000 a year in organic agricultural products and are exempt from NOP’s certification. Exempt organic producers are eligible for the EQIP Organic Initiative if they self-certify that they agree to develop and work toward implementing an Organic Systems Plan (OSP), as required by the NOP.
- Transitioning to Organic - producers who are in the process of transitioning to organic. Transitioning producers self-certify that they agree to develop and work toward implementing an OSP, as required by the NOP.
Assistance begins with the development of a conservation plan based on a needs assessment and each farmer’s unique goals.
Common conservation practices, systems or activities planned include:
- Improving irrigation efficiency;
- Developing a Conservation Activity Plan for Transition that can be part of the OSP;
- Establishing buffer zones;
- Creating pollinator habitat;
- Improving soil health and controlling erosion;
- Developing a grazing plan and supportive livestock practices;
- Enhancing cropping rotations;
- Nutrient and pest management activities;
- Managing cover crops; and
- Installing a high tunnel system.
Although EQIP supports a wide variety of conservation practices, your local NRCS field office staff will work with you to develop an organic plan that includes practices that fits your resource needs as part of the Organic Initiative.
Organic and transitioning farmers and ranchers may also apply for assistance through general EQIP or other conservatoin initiatives.
REMINDER: This listing is a free service of LandCAN.
EQIP Organic Initiative is not employed by or affiliated with the Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.
Contact EQIP Organic Initiative
EQIP Specialist for Organic
National Service Phone: