The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline to apply for conservation funding available to certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production in Texas to April 2, 2010.

Voluntary financial and technical assistance is available through the Organic initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Through the Organic EQIP sign-up, farmers, ranchers and dairy operators may apply for financial assistance and technical expertise to plan and install conservation measures, such as conservation crop rotation, cover crops, nutrient management, pest management, prescribed grazing, forage harvest management, and more. Program participants may receive up to $20,000 annually or $80,000 during any six-year period.

Producers must meet basic program eligibility guidelines. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under the general EQIP program that is open to both organic and non-organic producers. Applications for Farm Bill conservation programs are accepted on a continuous basis.

Interested producers should visit their nearest USDA Service Center about conservation planning and to determine eligibility. More information is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/organic.