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Program assists in tornado recovery

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Producers who suffered damage by the tornado that came through the western part of Lincoln County on Jan. 30, 2013 are being encouraged to stop by the local USDA Farm Service Agency and apply for the Emergency Conservation Program.

Sign-up began on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, and runs through Friday, March 29, 2013, says Joe L. Ashby, Executive Director of the Lincoln County FSA.

“USDA is committed to helping farmers and ranchers restore conservation measures on farmland devastated by the recent tornado,” said Ashby. “These funds (when they become available) will help producers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by the tornado.”

When funding becomes available, eligible producers will be able to remove farmland debris and restore fences damaged as a result of the tornado.

For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must create new conservation problems that, if untreated, would impair or endanger the land; materially affect the land’s productive capacity; represent unusual damage which, except for wind erosion, is not the type likely to recur frequently in the same area; and be so costly to repair that Federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.

All of the above conditions must be met for eligibility.

Conservation problems that existed before the disaster are not eligible for cost-share assistance.

As determined by FSA County Committee, ECP participants may receive cost-share assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved emergency conservation practices.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency county committees determine land eligibility based on on-site inspections of damage, taking into account the type and extent of damage.

For further information on eligibility requirements and applications, producers may visit their local FSA office or http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.