advertisement

Keystone Farmers Have Extra Incentive to Grow Green

In Pennsylvania, making the transition to more sustainable methods of food production has become more financially sustainable. For the second year in a row, the state will offer substantial monetary incentives for those farmers making the switch.
Pennsylvania farmers moving to organic agriculture or those who are certified organic have the opportunity to receive assistance for applying conservation practices through the state’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program organic initiative.

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Pennsylvania has set aside $760,000 to support organic agriculture. Approved applicants may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 per year, totaling up to $80,000 over six years.

The EQIP organic initiative is designed to provide financial assistance in the form of payments of 75 percent of the average cost of a conservation practice, or 90 percent of the average cost of a conservation practice if the producer is in a traditionally underserved group, such as limited resource, beginning or minority farmers.

Technical and financial assistance is available for a large number of conservation practices. Core practices that receive additional consideration as part of the application evaluation process include conservation crop rotation, cover crop, prescribed grazing, nutrient and pest management, conservation cover, field border, riparian herbaceous cover, riparian forested buffer and windbreaks.

“Through the EQIP organic initiative, organic producers or producers transitioning to organic have a unique opportunity to receive assistance. By separating these producers into a special group, organic initiative applicants only compete with other organic producers for funding,” says Dave Brown, NRCS state conservationist. “There is also a general EQIP funding pool from which all eligible agricultural producers can apply. However, these applicants compete on a wider scale for funding, often against all other producers in a multi-county region or the entire state.”

For more information about EQIP or to apply, go to http://www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ or contact the local USDA service center.


advertisement


advertisement
Archives

advertisement

advertisement