Organic production is an increasingly popular trend in agriculture. Oregon farmers and ranchers interested in making the transition can apply for technical and financial assistance through the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
According to the state conservationist Ron Alvarado, Oregon helped 88 organic farmers and ranchers with more than $2.3 million to implement conservation techniques on over 10,000 acres. Farmers and ranchers should start by contacting their local field offices to see if they can help with organic production goals.
The USDA’s Organic Initiative allocates $50 million for the 2001 fiscal year. Funding can be used to plant cover crops, improve pest management plans or implement nutrient management systems that meet organic certification standards.
Eligible farmers and ranchers include those who are already certified with the USDA’s National Organic Program, those who wish to go organic and those who meet organic standards but do not qualify for certification because their annual organic sales are less than $5,000.
Funding for this program stems from the 2008 Farm Bill. Applications are due to local USDA or FSA offices by March 4, 2011.
For more information contact Farm Plus at 866-929-5585.