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Potential assistance with critical water needs

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Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:09 pm

Livestock producers facing critical water needs to this summer’s ongoing drought may soon find some relief. Edward Hamill, state executive director for USDA’s Missouri Farm Service Agency (FSA), says counties classified as D3-Extreme Drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor may be eligible for cost-share assistance for livestock water through FSA’s Emergency Conservation Program (ECP).

“ECP allows qualified producers to receive financial assistance to livestock producers to do what’s necessary to get livestock a water source during this critical time,” Hamill said.

Counties meeting the D3 classification must still go through an approval process prior to implementing the program. Counties not designated as D3 Extreme drought, may also qualify for ECP if they have a 40 percent shortage of rainfall in comparison to normal rainfall for the year.

“It is unknown if funding will be immediately available, but producers who are interested can begin making their cost-share requests, and they will be notified as funds become available,” Hamill said. “It is important for producers to talk to their local FSA office prior to digging wells or running water lines.”

ECP program participants can receive financial assistance for up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved temporary emergency practices and up to 50 percent for permanent practices.

For more information on FSA’s Emergency Conservation Program, or other drought assistance, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.