Friday, June 17, 2011
Steamboat Springs Considering the recent influx of water spilling the banks of the Yampa, Elk and Colorado rivers and various tributaries in Northwest Colorado, as well as the vast amounts of farmland that stretch along these major waterways, farmers and ranchers are seeing much of their land become submerged under rising waters. What many might not know is that there may be federal assistance available for cleanup, repairs, crop losses and additional costs incurred due to excessive flooding on cropland and pasture ground in the area.
One form of assistance, the Emergency Conservation Program, provides emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. For land to be eligible, the disaster must create new conservation problems that, if left untreated, would impair or endanger the land, materially affect the land’s productive capacity, and/or be so costly to repair that federal assistance is required to return the land to productive agricultural use.
Some of the emergency conservation practices that are covered under ECP include the removal of debris, the restoration of damaged fences, and the reparation of damaged conservation structures. A site visit by an Farm Service Agency representative is required, so contact us to schedule an appointment if you believe you qualify for this program.
Another program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program, provides emergency help to eligible producers of livestock who have feed or grazing losses due to natural disasters. Some of the costs that may be covered under this program include the additional purchase of forage or feed beyond normal quantities, the costs incurred by transporting extra feedv and grazing losses based on the normal carrying capacity of the eligible grazing land. A Notice of Loss must be filed by the producer within 30 days of when the loss becomes apparent. There are risk management purchase requirements for this program, so if you believe you qualify for benefits, contact us for more information on program provisions.
Lastly, for those who purchased Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage for 2011 on grass or alfalfa hay and/or pasture ground, you may be covered under this program for damage incurred by the recent flooding. NAP provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters. Just a reminder: A Notice of Loss must be filed within 15 days of when you realize a loss has occurred.
If you feel that you have suffered a qualifying loss or would like more information on any of the programs, contact the Routt-Jackson-Grand-Summit Farm Service Agency at 970-879-3225, ext. 2, or stop by the office in the Pine Grove Center in Steamboat Springs. Additional program details are available online at www.fsa.usda.gov under the subject heading “Disaster Assistance Programs.”
Kate Brunton is a program technician for USDA Farm Service Agency based in Steamboat Springs. She can be reached at email@example.com.