The USDA — NRCS is offering a second sign up for conservation assistance on certified organic farms or agricultural ventures transitioning to organic production in North Carolina through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 

Farmers and growers who are transitioning to organic production, or are currently certified, must sign up for EQIP before the May 20, 2011 deadline in order to be considered.   

A number of conservation practices may be funded including irrigation, cover crops, crop rotations, prescribed grazing, forage harvest management, nutrient management, pest management, and seasonal high tunnels (also known as hoop — houses).  

Cost-share assistance is provided based on the average cost of conservation practices implemented, and is usually between 75 and 90 percent of the practice costs.  

Once again, the deadline is Friday, May 20, 2011. For more information on Organic Initiative, NRCS, and how to sign up for EQIP, please contact your local USDA Service Center or NRCS office.