Small Window Big Opportunity for Farmers

The USDA recently announced that $50 million of EQIP funds will be set aside for a special three-week sign-up for farms converting to organic production or expanding their organic production. Those with existing organic farms who desire to reach even higher levels of environmental performance are also eligible.
Unfortunately farmers have only three weeks to enroll in the program, and it's during the busiest time for farmers - the middle of planting season. The sign up period began Monday, May 11 and goes through Friday, May 29. Farmers can receive compensation for six core conservation practices (conservation crop rotation, cover cropping, integrated pest management, nutrient management, rotational grazing, and forage harvest management) under the program.  Farmers who want to apply should visit their Natural Resource Conservation Service District office.

The application process can be confusing and complicated, but fortunately, help is available. The Center for Rural Affairs is gearing up to help producers as much as possible during this short application window. The Center is operating a Farm Bill Helpline where producers can call in and receive assistance in accessing programs like the EQIP organic initiative.

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