A lack of moisture over an extended period of time has caused producers in Lake County to suffer the effects of severe drought conditions. Farms experiencing severe drought conditions may be eligible for cost-share assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP).

This disaster program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (FSA), which provides cost-share assistance if the damage is so severe that water available for livestock has been reduced below normal to the extent that the livestock cannot survive without additional water.

Only those farms or ranches that had adequate livestock watering systems or facilities before the drought are eligible for cost-share assistance.

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-shares not to exceed 50% of the cost of installing eligible temporary measures or 75% of the cost of installing eligible permanent measures. Cost-share assistance of 90% is available for limited resource and beginning farmers/ranchers.

Cost-share assistance is limited to $500,000 per person per natural disaster—producer must have sustained an estimated minimum of $1,000 in damages to qualify for the program. Approved practices and measures include: installing pipelines, troughs and tanks for livestock water. Constructing or deepening wells for livestock water; and developing springs or seeps for livestock water.

At their next regular meeting on Wednesday, April 21, the Lake County FSA Committee will consider requesting ECP funding from the National Office. Producers who anticipate the need for outside assistance to provide supplemental emergency livestock water for the upcoming grazing season should contact the county office to provide the specific type of assistance needed (livestock well, pipeline, troughs, pumps, spring development), estimated extent needed for each and the type and number of livestock needing water.

Documentation of the extent of the need for the county is critical in this process — funding for the program is very limited and funding requests will be prioritized at the National Office level.

Please contact the Lake County Farm Service Agency at (541) 947-2367 Ext 2 with any questions or to provide information regarding the need for emergency livestock water.

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