County farmers encouraged to signup for help from FSA office

Excessive rainfall from May 1-3, 2010 has caused severe damage in Jackson and Clay County, and local farms and ranches suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Jackson/Clay Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office.

Assistance is available to those suffering damage that:

• will be so costly to rehabilitate (Cost in excess of $1000 dollars) that federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use,

• is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area,

• affects the productive capacity of the farmland, or

• will impair or endanger the land.

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures.  No producer is eligible for more than $200,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrence.

The following types of measures may be eligible:

• EC1–removing debris from farmland,

• EC2–grading, shaping, re-leveling, or similar measures,

• EC3–restoring permanent fences, and

• EC4–restoring conservation structures and other installations.

Producers who have suffered a loss from a natural disaster may contact the local FSA county office and request assistance from June 14, 2010 through July 16, 2010.

To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until all of the following are met:

• an application for cost-share assistance has been filed,

• the local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an onsite inspection of the damaged area, and

• the agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination.

However, in certain instances, the Jackson/Clay County Committee, with the Tennessee State Committee concurrence, may grant relief on a case-by-case basis for those producers who had to take immediate steps to prevent further losses, provided they apply within 15 calendar days from June 14, 2010 at the Jackson/Clay County FSA county office.

Contact the Jackson/Clay FSA office with any questions at (931)268-0201 ext. 2.