Flooding caused severe damage in multiple areas of Putnam and Hendricks counties during late winter and early spring.
Farms suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Putnam/Hendricks Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office, 1007 Mill Pond Lane, Greencastle, if the damage:
-- Will be so costly to rehabilitate 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.
-- Affect the productive capacity of the farmland.
-- 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:
-- Removing debris from farmland.
-- Grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland.
-- 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 from July 27 to Aug. 31.
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.
-- The agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earthmoving, etc. required for rehabilitation.
Information on FSA programs is available at the FSA website http://www.fsa.usda.gov or by calling 653-5716.