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NRCS Funding Is Available – Don’t Miss Deadlines

by Gaea Denker |

The Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) is a $300 million multi-agency USDA effort to support certified organic and transitioning-to-organic producers and strengthen organic markets.

Through OTI, the Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) has made $75M in cost-share grant funding available to organic and transitioning-to-organic producers.

Although NRCS has set a national deadline for OTI of March 1, 2024, state deadlines may differ; check with your NRCS representative, info below, on local deadlines! 

State Deadlines:

  • Arizona: Feb 2, 2024 (General EQIP ranking date)
  • California: Feb 16, 2024 (General EQIP ranking date)
  • Hawaii/Pacific Islands: Mar 8, 2024
  • Nevada: Mar 29, 2024 (General EQIP ranking date)
  • New Mexico: Fall 2024 (General EQIP ranking date)
  • Texas: Jan 26, 2024
  • Utah: Mar 29, 2024 & June 28, 2024 (General EQIP ranking date)

What are applicants eligible to receive?

  • EQIP offers payments for practices and activities which may be categorized as vegetative, structural, and management practices. 
  • Free individualized consultation and conservation plan from a local NRCS conservation planner to address natural resource management concerns on the applicant’s land.
  • Technical and financial assistance for improving and sustaining natural resources on the applicant’s operation by implementing structural, vegetative, and management practices.

Who is eligible?

Eligible Applicants

  • Agricultural producers with ownership or control of their land
  • Owners of non-industrial private forestland
  • Indian Tribes
  • Those with an interest in establishing agricultural or forestry operations
  • Water management entities

Eligible Lands

  • Cropland and hayland
  • Rangeland
  • Pastureland
  • Non-industrial private forestland
  • Other farm or ranch lands
  • Environmentally sensitive areas

Historically Underserved (HU) participants are eligible for increased payment rates and advanced payments to offset the costs of purchasing goods or services. HU participants include socially disadvantaged, beginning, veteran and limited resource farmers and ranchers.

Contact your local NRCS office, or contact your state office for additional assistance.