Funds for organic farmers

Organic-transition assistance

For the third year in a row, the United States Department of Agriculture has allotted a big chunk of change toward helping farmers transition to using organic practices, according to a press release from the Center for Rural Affairs, a Nebraska-based conservation-advocacy group.

The USDA recently announced its $50 million investment in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative for 2011. The program provides qualified farmers a 75 percent share of the cost of implementing organic conservation measures, with that number being bumped up to 90 percent for beginning farmers, as well as those who are financially and/or socially disadvantaged. Farmers and ranchers can receive financial compensation for crop rotation, cover-cropping, pest and nutrient management, rotational grazing and forage harvest management.

The application period ends May 20. To apply for a portion of the funds, visit the Butte County Resource Conservation District office at 150 Chuck Yeager Way in Oroville or call 534-0112, ext. 3.