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News Release

NRCS Makes Funding Available for Texas Producers Impacted by Drought and Wildfire

Contact:
Lori Ziehr
(254) 742-9881


Temple, Texas, May 20, 2020 — The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is offering financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for agricultural producers who are currently being impacted by drought conditions and recent wildfire incidents.

The drought financial assistance will target farmers and ranchers across Texas in areas that have been designated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as D2 through D4 as of May 12, 2020, and ongoing throughout the Fiscal Year 2020 funding period. Producers will be eligible for conservation practices that will mitigate drought related losses and help their operations become more resilient to future drought conditions. Eligible land uses include grazing land, cropland, and forestland.

Producers should check the latest U.S. Drought Monitor at the following link: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Maps/MapArchive.aspx, or with their local NRCS field to determine eligibility for their operation.

The wildfire financial assistance will target farmers and ranchers in Crockett and Val Verde counties in West Texas. It is estimated that more than 27,000 acres have been adversely impacted due to these incidents. Wildfire adversely affects the landscape by reducing vegetation that is critical in protecting soil from wind and water erosion. Eligible producers will be eligible for grazing deferment, cross fencing, forage establishment, livestock water source development, and other related conservation practices to help aid in the post-fire recovery of their operations.

Wildfire EQIP financial assistance is available statewide based on the occurrence of incidents: Crockett and Val Verde counties will receive priority for funding at this time due to recent incidents.

The initial application deadline for funding for both opportunities will be June 22, 2020. If applications are received after this date, NRCS will rank and fund applications on a biweekly basis until funding is exhausted. 

Applications are accepted year-round for NRCS programs, but deadlines are announced to rank and fund eligible conservation projects. Producers interested in signing up for EQIP should submit applications to their local USDA service center.  Please locate your service center at https://www.farmers.gov/connect. Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing.

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers. Technical assistance is provided without a fee from NRCS specialists to help landowners and land managers plan and implement conservation practices to help them meet their land management goals, address natural resource concerns and improve soil, water, plant, animal, air, and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.

For additional information visit the NRCS Texas website at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.