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News Release
  Release No. 0291.08
Jonathan Groveman (202) 720-4178

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  USDA Provides $77 Million to Repair Farmland Damaged by Flood and Drought

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2008 - U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today said that farmers and ranchers will receive $77 million in Emergency Conservation Program funds to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters in 2008.

Producers will be able to use the money to remove farmland debris, restore fences and repair conservation structures which were damaged by floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, wildfires, and to carry out emergency water conservation measures after severe drought.

"These funds will allow farmers and ranchers to repair the severe damage to conservation systems caused by disaster conditions from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, as well as the 2008 Midwest Floods," said Schafer. "USDA has always worked shoulder to shoulder with producers during a disaster, and we remain committed to help through the weeks and months of recovery."

For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must create new conservation problems that:

  • if untreated, will impair or endanger the land;
  • materially affect the land's productive capacity;
  • represent unusual damage that, except for wind erosion, is not likely to recur frequently in the same area; and
  • would be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.

All of the above conditions must be met for eligibility. Conservation problems that existed before the disaster are not eligible for cost-share assistance. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees determine land eligibility based on on-site inspections of damage, taking into account the type and extent of damage.

The states and estimated dollar amounts for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) are:

State Total
Arkansas $1,040,000
California $168,000
Georgia $3,339,000
Hawaii $97,000
Illinois $447,000
Indiana $13,013,000
Iowa $17,560,000
Kansas $1,184,000
Kentucky $67,000
Louisiana $16,000,000
Maine $10,000
Michigan $59,000
Mississippi $337,000
Missouri $3,420,000
Montana $927,000
Nebraska $892,000
New Hampshire $195,000
New Mexico $1,200,000
New York $10,000
North Carolina $40,000
Ohio $375,000
South Carolina $95,000
Tennessee $2,758,000
Texas $13,729,000
Utah $45,000
Virginia $20,000
Grand Total $77,027,000

A detailed list of counties and associated specific disasters is on FSA's Web site at: A national map with a visual depiction of the affected counties and disaster types is on the FSA Web site at:

The remainder of ECP funds will be allocated as additional requests are processed. For further information on eligibility requirements as well as applications, producers may visit their local FSA office or online at