Contact FSA for Emergency Conservation Assistance

USDA offers Emergency Conservation Program cost-share for repair of terraces, grass waterways, and other problems caused by flooding.

Flooding in Iowa and the Midwest in June is still being assessed. Besides crops, there's a lot of damage to fields, grass waterways and terraces as well. Livestock farmers have lost bottomland and pastures. They are coming out of the first cutting of hay pretty short.

For farmers and landowners who have had damage to soil conservation structures such as grass waterways, terraces and other practices, there is cost-share assistance available to help make repairs. "We have the Emergency Conservation Program, or ECP," says Derryl McLaren, state director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Iowa.

So far 30 counties have requested money

He says as of June 7, Iowa FSA has had farmers in 30 counties that have made requests for assistance from the ECP, at almost $11 million in total. This would be for terrace breaks, grass waterway washouts, sand and debris removal from fields in flood plains, for reshaping land in a flood plain and for re-establishing drainage systems on a flood plain, he says.

"We've had a lot of damage to soil conservation structures in Iowa this year, with all the flooding, tornadoes and other weather-related problems," notes McLaren.

Another USDA agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service also has a program available called the Emergency Watershed Program, or EWP. "You should check with NRCS to see what is available from that program," he says. "The two programs - ECP and EWP - really complement one another."

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