Do I need a Transition to Organic Plan?
Are you currently farming? Are you interested in transitioning to organic production? Do you have natural resource concerns on your farm - and just don't know where to start?
I am a Technical Service Provider (TSP) registered by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide Transition to Organic Production Conservation Plans in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. These plans are referred to as CAP 138 plans by NRCS. A contract may be available to you through EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) to have one of these plans prepared for your farm, with a grant that would cover the entire cost. Through EQIP, agricultural producers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land.. Contact your local NRCS Office for details.
What does a CAP 138 include?
Preparation of a CAP 138 includes an on-site visit to go over any questions you may have, review your current production methods and inputs, such as which fertilizers, seeds, pesticides you may be using. I will review the organic standards with you, and identify any possible hurdles to organic certification. We will walk the fields and pastures and determine if there are any natural resource concerns, such as erosion, degraded pastures, invasive weeds, poor drainage issues etc. We will explore possible conservation practices to address those concerns. Additional technical and financial assistance may be available through NRCS to complete those practices.
Your final report will include a map of your operation, a detailed Soil Report, a checklist of Natural Resource Assessments and relevant Conservation Practices you are planning to install, as well as a basic Organic System Plan. I will gladly assist you in applying for organic certification with an Accredited certifier - A CAP 138 is NOT organic certification, but it does lay a good foundation.