Special to the Item/MS
The Picayune Item
Farms and ranches that suffered what was termed “severe damage” during the Christmas Day twister might be eligible for help under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), administered by the Poplarville Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office.
Officials said aid might be available under the following circumstances:
— Rehabilitation will be so costly that Federal assistance is, or will be, needed to return the land to productive agricultural use.
— Damage is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area.
— Damage affects the productive capacity of the farmland.
A producer qualifying for ECP assistance might receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible costs of restoration measures, officials said.
No producer is eligible for more than $200,000 in cost-sharing per natural disaster occurrence.
The following types of measures may be eligible: Removing debris from farmland; grading, shaping, or re-leveling severely damaged farmland; restoring permanent fences, and restoring conservation structures and other similar installations.
Producers who have suffered a loss from a natural disaster may contact the local FSA county office and request assistance between Jan. 22 and Feb. 20.
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, or its representative, has conducted an on-site inspection of the damaged area; the agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service, has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earth moving, etc., required for rehabilitation.
Those with questions, call 601-795-4409, Ext. 2.