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USDA Allocaters $16 MIllion In Emergency Conservation Aid To 18 States


Under Secretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum today announced that USDA is distributing $16 million in new Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding to help farmers and ranchers in 18 states to rehabilitate land damaged by natural disasters or drought.

“Floods, tornadoes, drought and other weather-related disasters have adversely affected agricultural land in portions of the country this year,” said Keenum. “These Emergency Conservation Program funds will assist producers back on the road to setting things right again.”

The U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, P.L. 110-28, signed by President Bush on May 25, 2007, authorized the $16 million in ECP funds. Unlike other ECP funding, the new $16 million excludes participants whose income exceeds certain levels. Also, under existing regulations, payments are limited to $200,000 per “person” per disaster. Producers may apply for ECP funding through applicable local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) service centers.

ECP provides emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought. FSA county committees determine land eligibility based on on-site inspections of damage, taking into account the type and extent of damage.

For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must create new conservation problems that:

if untreated, will 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
would be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.
The following chart shows the states, dollar amounts and disasters associated with this announcement:

State - A mount Approved - Disaster Type
Alabama $1,049,300 Drought
California $5,000,000 Freeze
Colorado $87,500 Landslide
Georgia $163,000 Tornado
Iowa $1,368,300 Flood
Maine $32,000 Flood
$5,000 High Winds
Missouri $990,000 Ice Storm
$12,000 Tornado
$2,626,000 Flood
Mississippi $1,291,900 Drought
Montana $140,000 Drought
New Hampshire $50,000 Flood
New Jersey $450,000 Flood
New York $589,600 Flood
Oklahoma $543,200 Ice Storm
Oregon $45,000 Drought
Pennsylvania $22,000 Flood
South Dakota $215,000 Flood
$1,177,000 Drought
Utah $132,000 Drought
Vermont $10,600 High Winds
Total 16,000,000


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