Flooded corn

COLUMBIA, Mo. — In response to flooding in Missouri and across the country this year, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is announcing the availability of $9 million to fund conservation easements in 69 Missouri counties damaged by flooding and other natural disasters.

Funds are available through the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP-FPE). NRCS field offices are accepting applications through Oct. 18, according to a news release.

Through the program, eligible applicants agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the United States through NRCS. Compensation is based on the value of the easement as determined by an appraisal or market analysis. These easements may occur on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding and natural disasters. NRCS will work to restore the easement to its natural floodplain condition.

The eligible Missouri counties are: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Barton, Bates, Bollinger, Buchanan, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Clark, Cole, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, Douglas, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howell, Jackson, Jasper, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Newton, Nodaway, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Wayne, Webster and Wright.

“Landowners across Missouri have faced — and continue to face — significant challenges from flooding and natural disasters,” said Missouri NRCS State Conservationist J.R. Flores. “To provide relief and assist agricultural landowners during this difficult time, this easement program offers an option that alleviates the stress of operating in a floodplain while still retaining ownership of their property.”

Contact a local NRCS field office to apply or learn more.

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