SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency State Executive Director William J Graff has announced that Alexander, Pulaski and Union counties are accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program to address damages from 2019 spring flooding.

The approved ECP practices under this authorization include: Removing debris from farmland; grading, shaping, releveling or similar measures; and restoring conservation structures and other installations.

ECP assists producers with the recovery cost to restore the agricultural land to pre-disaster conditions. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75% of the cost of approved restoration activity.

“Dealing with natural disasters is never easy but it’s important for producers to call the county office before they take any action,” Graff said.

Producers with damage from such events must apply for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. FSA’s National Environmental Policy Act and environmental compliance review process is required to be completed before any actions are taken. Submitting an application after reconstructive work has been completed may not qualify for ECP.

FSA county committees will evaluate applications based on an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the damage. An on-site inspection does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be provided.

The use of ECP funds is limited to activities to return the land to the relative pre-disaster condition. Conservation concerns that were present on the land prior to the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance.

For more information on ECP, call the Union County FSA office at 618-833-5666 or visit www.farmers.gov/recover.

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