Douglas and Wright County Farm Service Agency Taking Applications for the Emergency Conservation Program

Sign-up commenced June 9, with a final deadline of July 9, 2020.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Wright and Douglas Counties is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address high wind and tornado damage that occurred on May 4, 2020. ECP signup started on June 9, 2020, and ends July 9, 2020.

The approved ECP practices under this authorization include practice EC1 – Removing Debris from Farmland and EC3-Restoring Permanent Fences.

ECP assists producers with the recovery cost to restore the farmland to pre-disaster conditions. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of approved restoration activity. Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers may receive up to 90 percent cost-share. A 25 percent advance payment will be allowed for repair or replacement of fencing.

Producers with damage from such events must apply for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. FSA’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental compliance review process is required to be completed before any actions are taken. Submitting an application after reconstructive work has been completed may not qualify for ECP.

FSA county committees will evaluate applications based on an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the damage. An on-site inspection does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be provided.

The 2018 Farm Bill increased the payment limitation for ECP to $500,000 per disaster. The use of ECP funds is limited to activities to return the land to the relative pre-disaster condition. Conservation concerns that were present on the land prior to the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance.

For more information on ECP, please contact your local FSA or visit farmers.gov/recover.