U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Jodie Watson announced on Friday, November 30th that Schleicher, Sutton, and Val Verde County is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from flooding. ECP signup will begin on December 1, 2018, and end on December 31, 2018.

The approved ECP practices under this authorization include fencing and debris removal.

ECP assists producers with the recovery cost to restore the agricultural land to pre-disaster conditions. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of approved restoration activity.

“Dealing with natural disasters is never easy, especially when you have to consider the health and safety of livestock, but it’s important for producers to call our office before they take any action,” said Watson.

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 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 the Schleicher, Sutton, Val Verde County FSA office at 325-853-3535 or visit https://www.farmers.gov/recover.