BANGOR, Maine — Maine has received more than $480,000 for an initiative to encourage more organic agriculture production, according to a press release from Juan Hernandez, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Funding for 2010 is being made available as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
This is the second year for this initiative, and approximately $429,000 was obligated statewide through this initiative in 2009.
Successful applicants will receive funding to implement five priority conservation practices designed to improve natural resource conditions. Not only do these practices offer significant environmental benefits, but they are also important to growers, according to the release. The five practices are crop rotation, cover crops, nutrient management, pest management and mulching.
Applications received from organic producers or producers in transition to organic farming will be accepted under this initiative until Jan. 22, 2010.
Any certified organic producer must submit an Organic System Plan at the time of application along with proof of farm ownership.
Farmers transitioning to organic must provide proof of farm ownership and written self-certification agreeing to develop an OSP and implement conservation practices consistent with EQIP Statute and the OSP.
Interested producers should visit their local USDA Service Center to determine eligibility.