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Kenneth Hitch EQIP Program Manager, NRCS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR ORGANIC PRODUCERS IN OKLAHOMA.

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Presentation on theme: "Kenneth Hitch EQIP Program Manager, NRCS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR ORGANIC PRODUCERS IN OKLAHOMA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kenneth Hitch EQIP Program Manager, NRCS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR ORGANIC PRODUCERS IN OKLAHOMA

2 Who can Apply for Financial Assistance Agricultural Producers Must have records established with Farm Service Agency Must Meet basic Eligibility Requirements Must have a resource concern to be addressed.

3 Who is an Agricultural Producer? According to the new Farm Bill statute 7CFR§1466.3, Producer means a person, legal entity, or joint operation who has an interest in the agricultural operation, or who is engaged in agricultural production or forestry management. The following may have an interest in a farming operation: Owner or renter of the land in the farming operation Those who have an interest in the agricultural products, commodities, or livestock produced by the farming operation. A member of a joint operation that either owns or rents land in the farming operation or has interest in the agricultural products, commodities, or livestock produced by the farming operation. Policy determines eligible crops and livestock types, which did not change dramatically and includes a wide variety of crops including berries, vegetables, and ornamental plants. Livestock includes Alpacas, Bees, Cattle, Goats, Elk and much more. There is no minimum size for an agricultural operation.

4 General information on the Organic Initiative The organic Initiative may address all resource concerns addressed under Regular EQIP. The Organic Initiative includes all practices available through regular EQIP as well as a few that are unique to organic operations. For FY 2015 Oklahoma has allocated $100,000 for the Organic Initiative. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but must be received by March 20, 2015 to be considered for funding in FY 2015.

5 Information specific to the Organic Initiative Those individuals who are transitioning to organic and those who are certification exempt must develop and Organic system Plan and apply under the Organic Transition fund pool. Participants who already have organic certification will apply under the organic certified fund pool. Contract items must be consistent with an organic system plan (OSP) Payments are limited to $20,000 per year with a maximum contract limit of $80,000. Producers who require more assistance than allowed by these limits should apply under regular EQIP.

6 Seasonal High Tunnel House Initiative For FY 2015 Oklahoma will offer a seasonal high tunnel house initiative for those producers who wish to install a seasonal high tunnel to address an existing resource concern, whether they are organic or not. Practices in the SHTI are limited to the following: Critical area planting Diversion Grassed waterway Subsurface Drain Surface Drainage Field Ditch All contracts must include the seasonal high tunnel and participants may not receive more than $10,000 in financial assistance per operation per contract. Oklahoma has allocated $100,000 for the SHTI in FY The seasonal high tunnel practice is also available through general EQIP and many counties have integrated this priority into their ranking criteria. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however only those applications which were received prior to January 16, 2015 will be considered for funding in FY 2015 at this time.

7 Questions? USDA NRCS is an equal opportunity employer and provider.


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