As we approach the spring and the planting season, it is a good idea to take a long, hard look at the various programs available for assistance and their respective deadlines. In chronological order:
Conservation Stewardship Program — The deadline for CSP sign-up is extended to Friday, March 13, 2015. We’ve previously discussed CSP and the benefits that may accrue to applicants. If you are interested, head over to your local NRCS office to complete the initial two-page application.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program — EQIP has rolling deadlines of March 20, April 17, and May 15. EQIP is a voluntary working lands program offering farmers and ranchers cost-share funding and technical assistance. EQIP now provides up to a 50% cost-share for beginning and limited resource farmers. EQIP can help fund a number of projects, including high tunnels, organic conservation, and other conservation practices. Like CSP, just head over to your local NRCS office for more information as it varies state by state.
Organic Production Survey — The survey is due April 3, 2015. The survey is specifically for the organic sector, to determine growth, trends, and challenges. The survey may be taken electronically, so feel free to review our previous article and let the USDA know what you think.