Acting on an Obama administration promise to encourage more organic agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will offer $50 million to help growers make the leap into organic production.


The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide program that will provide financial assistance to organic certified producers as well those who want to make the transition.


Deadline to apply for the aid is May 29, according to a news release.


The funding is part of the Natural Resource Conservation Service's Environmental Quality Incentives Program.


To be considered, producers must implement one of several core conservation practices.

They include conservation crop rotation, cover cropping, nutrient management, pest management, prescribed grazing and forest harvest management.


Once applications are submitted, they will be separated into those making the transition to organic for the first time and established organic producers who are adding land or adding conservation practices.


The applications also will be ranked, based on resource concerns and National Organic Program objectives.


Interested producers should visit their local NRCS office.

For more information, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov.