EQIP Organic Initiative June 1 Deadline
June 1, 2012, is this year’s remaining ranking deadlines for the EQIP Organic Initiative. After the June deadline, you will have to wait until 2013. NRCS accepts applications to this (and other) programs throughout the year, but the ranking dates help producers know when their application is being considered, and when and if approved, as NRCS will begin work on contracts once selections are made.
EQIP Organic Initiative: NRCS helps certified organic growers and producers
working to achieve organic certification install conservation practices for organic production. Existing organic producers with conservation needs can visit with their local NRCS office to see what practices and financial assistance is available to improve their crop and/or livestock operations. Those wishing to transition to organic production can find assistance to adopt conservation practices such as conservation crop rotations, cover crops, nutrient management, and others that will help them make the transition.
While funds for the EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative are expended for this year, producers can apply for next year’s funds at any time. NRCS helps producers plan and implement high tunnels, which are steel-framed, polyethylene-covered structures that extend growing seasons for vegetables and fruits. Unlike past years in Kansas, this initiative is no longer limited to organic or transitioning organic producers, but is open to ALL producers. Farmers interested should check out the program at their local NRCS office. You can also apply for seasonal high tunnels as part of the Organic Initiative if you plan on seeking organic certification.
In Kansas, initially farmers had to apply under the Organic Initiative for the seasonal high tunnel practice, so the majority of the approximately 120 Organic Initiative applications approved in Kansas to date were directed to seasonal high tunnels. But now producers can opt for the seasonal high tunnel initiative without having to pursue organic certification.
Visit your local County NRCS office for more information.
On Thursday, May 10, 8 a.m.—2:30 p.m., the Kansas Forest Service will join a host of other partners to present the 2012 Agroforestry, Water, and Wildlife Field Day. The event features outdoor educational sessions to help Kansas landowners successfully manage their woodlands, wildlife, and farming operations in ways that simultaneously protect and improve the quality of water in their streams and ponds.
The event will be held at the Flat Rock Ranch in southeast Kansas near Hamilton. Located about 40 miles south of Emporia and 70 miles east-northeast of Wichita, the 3,000-acre ranch provides tremendous hunting, fishing, and bird/wildlife watching opportunities, while also producing beef cattle, soybeans, and corn.
Educational sessions will include: Proper tree planting and establishment methods; Limiting Cattle Access to Ponds; Oak Savannah Management; Quail Habitat Management; Quality Food Plots for Deer; and Managing Transition Zones between crops and woodlands.
A lunch of hamburgers with a variety of side dishes will be grilled on-site by Frontier Farm Credit and refreshments will be provided in the morning. A $10 registration fee is required for participants and will help cover the cost of lunch, refreshments, and other expenses. The registration deadline is Monday, May 7. To register or for additional information call the Kansas Forest Service at 785-532-3300 or e-mail Bob Atchison, at atchison@ ksu.edu.
Food Safety Classes Offered
The Kansas Dept. of Agriculture will host regional food safety handling classes in May. The 90-minute programs are free and open to all, from the home cook or volunteers who prepare food for church events to full-service restaurants and other food service establishments. Attendees will learn about cooking and cooling foods, hand washing and hygiene.
May 7, Hays - 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Hays Recreation Commission (1105 Canterbury Hays, KS). Contact the Ellis County Extension office at 785-628-9430 to RSVP.
May 7, Parsons- 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Parsons City Municipal Building (112 S. Main, Parsons, KS). Contact Barbara Ames with the Wildcat Extension District Mont-gomery County at 620-331-2690 to RSVP.
May 9 Dodge City - 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Ford County Jail meeting room (11311 E. Comanche St., Dodge City, KS). Contact the Ford County Extension office at 620-227-4542 to RSVP.
May 14 Emporia - 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Lyon County Extension Service building (2632 W. Hwy. 50, Emporia, KS). Contact Rhonda Gordon with Lyon County Extension at 620-341-3220 to RSVP.
For more information, contact:
Chelsea Good at (785) 296-2653 (office) of Chelsea.Good@kda.ks.gov.