Mike Sullivan, Arkansas state conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), announced conservation assistance is available through a special initiative for Arkansas agricultural producers impacted by the recent flood event that occurred in areas throughout the state.
NRCS is offering assistance to address flood issues associated with livestock, crop production and recovery efforts aimed at restoration of agricultural lands within the state’s extreme flood areas.
Applications for assistance are being taken at county USDA service centers through Nov. 22, 2019.
“Arkansas was one of the hardest hit states and our producers are in dire need of technical and financial assistance. This assistance will help producers keep their livestock healthy, restore pastures, stop erosion and sediment deposition scouring, soil loss and protect forest land,” said Mike Sullivan, NRCS state conservationist in Arkansas.
“Though this effort we hope to provide some immediate relief and a catalyst for a quicker recovery,” Sullivan said.
While landowners statewide can apply for conservation assistance, priority is given to those who have been in the most critical flood areas, defined by the Flood Emergency Management Agency. The counties are Arkansas, Conway, Crawford, Desha, Faulkner, Franklin, Jefferson, Johnson, Lincoln, Logan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Sebastian and Yell. A map of the areas in Arkansas is located at: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4441.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), farmers can apply for numerous conservation practices designed to provide immediate flood relief. Practices include fencing, structure for water control, watering systems, cover crops, critical area planting, and prescribed grazing management. Several practices are also available to help with recovery from the flood. Re-establishment of grasses will prevent further erosion and decreased fertility in the soil. Sedimentation will be reduced and negative impacts to water bodies will be decreased.”
“NRCS will work closely with producers to ensure successful implementation of planned conservation practices,” Sullivan said. “Where conservation activities have failed because of flooding, NRCS will look for opportunities to work with farmers and ranchers to re-apply those activities.”
For more information on flooding assistance, visit www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov or call your local USDA service center listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture, or your local conservation district.