Five Iowa Counties Now Eligible for Cost Share to Meet Emergency Water Needs

Ag/Outdoor

August 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Livestock producers, orchards and vineyards facing critical water needs due to this summer’s ongoing drought may soon find some relief announced John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).  Five Iowa counties; Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Davis, and Wapello, have been approved to implement and hold a sign up under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP).

Farmers experiencing severe drought conditions may be eligible for cost-share assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program or ECP.  This program provides cost-share assistance if the damage is so severe that water available for livestock, orchards, and vineyards has been reduced below normal to the extent that they cannot survive without additional water. 

Producers with water shortages will need to sign the required forms and have the area inspected prior to starting any work, which may include technical assistance to determine what is needed to bring a water supply to the area. “Contacting your local county office is critical.  Producers not completing the required forms and who were not inspected prior to starting the work could be ineligible and cost share could be denied,” stated Whitaker.

Farmers experiencing severe drought conditions may be eligible for cost-share assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program or ECP.  This program provides cost-share assistance if the damage is so severe that water available for livestock, orchards, and vineyards has been reduced below normal to the extent that they cannot survive without additional water.

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost share not to exceed 75 percent of the cost of installing eligible temporary measures.  Cost share for permanent measures is based on 50 percent of the total eligible cost.  Cost-share assistance is limited to $200,000 per person or legal entity per natural disaster.  Water source related problems existing prior to the applicable disaster are ineligible for ECP assistance.

Approved practices and measures may include:

  • Installing pipelines or other facilities for livestock water or existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards
  • Constructing and deepening wells for livestock water
  • Developing springs or seeps for livestock water.

Producers who have experienced severe drought conditions requiring outside assistance to provide supplemental water should contact their local county FSA office for more information or go on-line at www.fsa.usda.gov.