Ag department doles out emergency conservation funds
Additional dollars available for farmers in Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah

WASHINGTON, DC, February 10, 2004 (ENS): The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided almost $2 million in Emergency Conservation Program funding for nine states, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced Monday.

The funds will be given to Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.

"These funds will help farmers and ranchers rehabilitate farmland damaged by various natural disasters throughout the country," Veneman said. "We are able to provide this funding as a result of unused allocations from other states."

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides funds for technical assistance to help producers 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.

The funding to states is as follows: $135,678 for flood damage in Alabama, $600,000 for drought in Colorado, $297,000 for drought in Idaho, $146,000 for tornado damage in Missouri, $20,000 for tornado damage in Mississippi, $42,500 for tornado damage in Oklahoma, $330,000 for drought in South Dakota, $39,800 for tornado and flood damage in Tennessee and $331,600 for drought in Utah.

The program is administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) state and county committees.

Locally elected county committees are authorized to implement the Emergency Conservation Program for all disasters except drought, which is authorized at the national office of the FSA.

The ECP funds may, in some cases, be used to cover requests already approved for which funding was previously unavailable. Eligible producers will receive cost-share assistance of up to 64 percent of the cost of the approved practice, as determined by FSA county committees.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2004. All Rights Reserved.

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