A Tennessee farmer whose land was damaged by the 2012 drought can apply for financial assistants to get it back right through Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, which has $778,000 in additional funding to help crop and livestock producers in the state. The deadline for signing up for this additional drought assistance is January 18, 2013.
The funds are available through NRCS for financial and technical assistance to help apply conservation practices that reduce the impacts of drought and improve soil health and productivity. Drought assistance funds from NRCS target states that have experienced either exceptional or extreme drought conditions; exceptional drought continues to dominate sections of Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, causing widespread losses of crops and pastures and water shortages in reservoirs, streams and wells.
Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah are under extreme drought, with accompanying major losses of crops and pasture, widespread water shortages and restrictions on water use.
The additional funding will allow NRCS to address the backlog in applications from the previous drought assistance signup, as well as accept new applications from producers interested in applying selected conservation practices to address drought, including prescribed grazing, livestock watering facilities and water conservation practices. Producers can also apply for financial assistance to re-install conservation practices that failed due to drought.
To find out more about the program and to sign-up, go to the NRCS website at www.nrcs.usda.gov. Or, as always, stop by your local NRCS office to find out if you are eligible for this new funding.
Farmers weathering 2012 are learning plenty about everything from crop insurance to seed genetics as parched conditions reshape farm business across the country. Consider our 5-part approach to moving ahead after the toughest drought since the 1930s.