USDA will begin allocating $11.8 million in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding for 18 states to help producers rehabilitate land damaged by natural disasters, the agency says.

ECP is designed to aid producers in removing debris from farmland, restoring fences and conservation structures; providing water for livestock in drought situations; and grade and shape farmland damaged by a natural disaster. Administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA) state and county committees, eligible producers will receive cost-share assistance of up to 75% of the cost of the approved practice. Problems existing prior to the applicable disaster are ineligible for ECP assistance.

Among 18 states slated for ECP assistance are: Arkansas, $643,000; Arizona, $27,000; California, $255,000; Colorado, $413,000; Georgia, $73,000; Hawaii, $957,000; Illinois, $12,000; Kentucky, $215,000; Missouri, $1,676,300; Nevada, $493,000; New Hampshire, $48,000; New Mexico, $1,092,000; Oklahoma, $532,000; South Dakota, $1,963,000; Tennessee, $2,328,800; Texas, $570,300; Utah, $120,000; and Vermont, $396,700.

Check with local FSA offices for ECP sign-up periods and info, or visit disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
-- Joe Roybal