Emergency program to provide water for livestock approved

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
All of the corn belt and most of the lower 48 states are experiencing drought this summer. More than 50 percent of counties in the U.S. have been declared disaster areas.

Livestock farmers faced with immediate water shortages due to the 2012 drought could get help through a recently approved federal Emergency Conservation Program (ECP).

Funding for the program has not yet been approved, according to Jared Singer, Saline County's FSA executive director. However, they are taking applications now until Sept. 28.

"This program will provide cost-share to eligible livestock producers who are experiencing difficulty watering their livestock due to the drought," Singer said.

If funding is approved, the FSA will cost share 50 percent for permanent measures, or 75 percent for temporary measures, he said. There must be a minimum need of $1,000 of eligible items in order to qualify for cost-share, Singer said.

Only those who had adequate watering systems prior to the drought are eligible. This program will not provide assistance to clean out ponds.

"It has to be a practice that will provide immediate relief, and cleaning out a pond would not provide that," Singer explained.

Permanent measures include things like buried pipelines and drilling or deepening of wells. Temporary measures include temporary pipelines and spring developments, he said.

ECP will provide cost share for the most cost-effective way to provide immediate relief from the drought, Singer said.

After applications are submitted, FSA staff will conduct a field visit to determine eligibility and then will submit them to the county committee for approval.

Last week, Governor Jay Nixon announced a similar, but separate state cost-share program through the Soil and Water Conservation District. Applications are currently being taken for that program at the Saline County's SWCD office.

Those wanting more information can contact the FSA or SWCD at (660) 886-7447.