FARMINGTON — A second ranking period for the Organic Initiative and the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is planned, according to a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service press release. Interested producers should contact the Farmington NRCS office soon to find out if they are eligible for either of these programs. Applications for the second ranking period of 2013 are due at the NRCS offices by close of business on April 19. Both initiatives are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and offer technical and financial assistance.

Through the initiative NRCS helps certified organic growers and producers working to achieve organic certification install conservation practices for organic production. Funding is available to help producers plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns in ways that are consistent with organic production. “Practices will help the selected applicants meet many requirements of their USDA Organic System Plans and stay in compliance with USDA’s National Organic Program,” Paul Hersey said in the release.

Through the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, NRCS helps producers plan and implement high tunnels — steel-framed, polyethylene-covered structures that extend growing seasons in an environmentally safe manner. High tunnel benefits include better plant and soil quality, fewer nutrients and pesticides in the environment, and better air quality due to fewer vehicles being needed to transport crops.

For more information, visit me.nrcs.usda.gov or call Paul Hersey or Jade Gianforte at the USDA Service Center at 107 Park St., or call 778-4767, ext 105.

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