The USDA Farm Service Agency office is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program to address damages from recent flooding. County Executive Director Julie Hall said ECP signup for Burt County began on March 26, 2019, and will end on May 28, 2019.

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

Hall said the approved ECP practices under this authorization include debris removal; fencing replacement and repair; grading, shaping and leveling of impacted fields; conservation structure rehabilitation; and shelterbelt rehabilitation.

“Producers with damage must apply for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work in order to qualify for cost-share assistance,” Hall stressed. “This allows the FSA office to assess the need for on-site inspection and environmental compliance requirements, taking into consideration the type and extent of the damage.”

Hall said an appointment isn’t necessary, “so please stop in if you have flood damage. During the application process we will have you draw on the map where and what kind of damage you have.”

Producers also will estimate the hours and types of equipment needed to make necessary repairs.

Livestock producers who suffered losses due to the recent flooding and extreme cold may be eligible for the Livestock Indemnity Program and/or for Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Hall said.

LIP provides producers with a safety net to help them overcome the financial impact of extreme or abnormal weather said Hall. “The flooding and cold has really had a significant impact on some livestock producers, and we encourage them to reach out to our office.”

LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to an adverse weather event. The payment rate is based on 75 percent of the average fair market value of the livestock.

A livestock producer must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent. For 2019 losses, producers must file an application for payment by March 1, 2020.

Livestock producers must provide evidence that the death of livestock was due to an eligible adverse weather event or loss condition. In addition, livestock producers should bring supporting evidence, including documentation of the number and kind of livestock that died, photographs or video records to document the loss, purchase records, veterinarian records, production records and other similar documents. Beginning inventory numbers and proof are also required.

Producers who suffered livestock feed losses due to recent floods could be eligible for assistance through ELAP.

ELAP covers physically damaged or destroyed livestock feed that was purchased, or mechanically harvested forage or feedstuffs intended for use as feed for the producer’s eligible livestock.

“An example is hay bales that the floodwaters took away,” Hall added.

Producers must submit a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent.

Producers who have questions on any FSA program should contact the Burt County Farm Service Agency office at 402-374-1920, ext. 2.