May 22, 2024

Illinois NRCS announces Organic Transition Initiative sign-up

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will assist producers with a new organic management standard under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Transition Initiative.

The new organic management standard allows flexibility for producers to gain the assistance, training and expertise they need through organic transition and supports practices required for organic certification, many of which extend beyond existing NRCS conservation practices.

It supports conservation practices required for organic certification and may provide foregone income reimbursement for dips in production during the transition period.

Higher payment rates and other options are available for underserved producers including socially disadvantaged, beginning, veteran and limited resource farmers and ranchers.

Eligible producers include farmers, forest landowners and other producers beginning or in the process of transitioning to organic certification.

Producers interested in EQIP-OTI should submit a signed application, form NRCS-CPA-1200, by June 9.

Applications may be submitted to the local NRCS field office or through the Farmers.gov website using their account.

Producers who wish to use Farmers.gov can sign in or create an account by clicking on the “sign up” button in the upper right of the website.

A blank NRCS-CPA-1200 application form may be obtained from the local office or the USDA eForms site at https://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/.