Bangor, ME – February 25, 2013, 2012 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Juan Hernandez has announced a second ranking period for the Organic Initiative and the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. Interested producers should contact their local NRCS office soon to find out if they are eligible for either of these programs. Applications for the second ranking period of 2013 are due at the NRCS offices by close of business on April 19, 2013. Both initiatives are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and offer technical and financial assistance.
Through the Organic Initiative NRCS helps certified organic growers and producers working to achieve organic certification install conservation practices for organic production. Funding is available to help producers plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns in ways that are consistent with organic production. “Practices will help the selected applicants meet many requirements of their USDA Organic System Plans and stay in compliance with USDA’s National Organic Program,” said Hernandez.
Through the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, NRCS helps producers plan and implement high tunnels – steel-framed, polyethylene-covered structures that extend growing seasons in an environmentally safe manner. High tunnel benefits include better plant and soil quality, fewer nutrients and pesticides in the environment, and better air quality due to fewer vehicles being needed to transport crops.
For more information go to www.me.nrcs.usda.gov or contact your nearest USDA Service Center, listed online at http://offices.usda.gov or in the telephone book under United States Government, Agriculture Department.