Signup for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) begins Monday, July 20 and will continue through Aug. 21, Mary Kunze, Farm Service Agency executive director Cherokee, Adair and Sequoyah Counties, announced last week. The program provides assistance to farmers and ranchers who may have suffered flood damage.
Sequoyah County farms and ranches suffering severe damage due to the recent flooding may be eligible for assistance under the ECP if damage will be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use; is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area (frequently flooded zones are not eligible); affect the productive capacity of the farmland and/or will impair or endanger the land.
Areas subject to frequent flooding according to soil survey maps are not eligible for assistance.
A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures or $200,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrence. Measures that may be eligible include removing debris from farmland; grading, shaping or releveling severely damaged farmland; restoring permanent fences; or restoring conservation structures and other similar installations.
To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until an application for cost-share assistance has been filed, the local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an on site inspection of the damaged area, the agency responsible for technical assistance has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earth moving, etc., required for rehabilitation.
For additional information or to apply, producers may contact the Cherokee/Adair/Sequoyah Counties FSA office located at 318 W. Choctaw St., Suite 3, Tahlequh, OK 74464, call 918-456-1924 ext 2 or visit the FSA website online at www.fsa.usda.gov/ok.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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