Thursday, August 9, 2012

$1 million for drought help

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri has been allocated more than $1 million to assist currently enrolled Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) producers who have suffered setbacks from the drought.

Nationally, $16 million in financial and technical assistance has been made available to help eligible crop and livestock producers in 19 states.  Missouri received the fifth-highest share in the nation with $925,000 allotted for EQIP producers and $100,000 for WHIP producers.  Obligations must be made by September 1 for Missouri to receive its more than $1 million share.

Missouri State Conservationist J.R. Flores has made $300,000 of EQIP funding available to producers with failed practices from an active EQIP contract, while $625,000 has been approved for existing, unfunded EQIP applications previously determined eligible for 2012 EQIP funding.  Producers can modify current EQIP contracts to allow for grazing, livestock watering and other conservation activities to address drought conditions in accordance with planning guidance.

The entire $100,000 allotment of WHIP funding has been designated solely for the re-application of failed practices in active WHIP contracts.

"The $1 million we received from the USDA for EQIP and WHIP practices, combined with the July 27 authorization to allow haying and grazing of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) easement areas in drought-affected areas are steps that should help alleviate some of the stress of this year's drought," Flores said.  "I'm thankful we have been able to provide resources and flexibility in our existing programs to help producers suffering the burden of this historic event."

Landowners and producers eligible for funding should contact their local NRCS field office for further information and procedures.  To locate a USDA service center visit

For additional drought resources visit the NRCS Drought Assistance website at or for Missouri specific information.

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