PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Doreen Conlogue, Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Aroostook County announced on June 12 that sign up has begun and will continue until July 12, 2013 for $500,000 in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funds for producers in Northern Aroostook County.
“This funding will provide much-needed assistance to farmers and ranchers who were hit hard by heavy rainfall on June 2, 2013, primarily in the Hamlin, Van Buren, Cyr Plantation and neighboring areas. “It will allow farmers and ranchers to repair environmental damage caused by the disaster conditions they have encountered.”
ECP gives producers additional resources to remove debris from farmland, restore fences and conservation structures, provide water for livestock in drought situations and grade and shape farmland damaged by a natural disaster. USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) state and county committees administer ECP. Locally-elected county committees are authorized to implement ECP for all disasters except drought, which is authorized at the national office of FSA. Eligible producers will receive cost-share assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost of the approved practice, as determined by FSA county committees.
For a producer’s land to be eligible, the disaster must create new conservation problems that, if untreated, would impair or endanger the land and affect its productive capacity. Conservation problems existing prior to the applicable disaster USDA offers additional programs to help farmers and ranchers recover from damages caused by natural disasters. These programs include the Emergency Loan Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
More information on ECP and other disaster assistance programs is available at local FSA service centers and online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov.