Producers have 30 days to apply for Emergency Conservation Program
Houston County Courier
Houston/Leon/Madison – Anderson County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Darvin L. Collins announced Monday, Dec. 12 that a 30-day sign up for the Emergency Conservation Program would begin Thursday, Dec. 15 for cost share assistance to restore agricultural fences that were destroyed or severely damaged by wildfire in Houston, Leon and Anderson counties. Collins states that FSA will accept applications in eligible counties, but there is currently a backlog for ECP funds. Producers are still encouraged to submit an application and will be notified as funds become available Collins said. It is normal procedure for producers to submit their requests for ECP assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. Completing reconstructive work before submitting an ECP request and receiving FSA approval would usually result in forfeiture of program eligibility, but according to Collins, FSA has the authority to approve ECP requests, on a case-by-case basis, for projects started or completed before receiving ECP funding approval. We realize that there are extenuating circumstances that must be addressed for public and livestock safety and health reasons and due to the backlog of ECP funds, FSA district directors have the authority to waive the start date for beginning reconstructive work., said Collins. Approval to waive the start date would allow producers to begin repairing fences before ECP funds are secured without jeopardizing program eligibility, he said. ECP program participants can receive financial assistance for up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved emergency conservation practices. For more ECP information or to request a start date waiver, please contact the Houston/Leon/Madison- AndersonCounty FSA office at (936) 544-3857 ext. 2. Information can also be obtained on line at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.