Help is on the way for area livestock producers facing a critical need for water in the ongoing drought. USDA has committed nearly $16 million in financial and technical assistance to immediately help crop and livestock producers in 19 states cope with the adverse impacts of the historic drought. In addition, USDA will initiate a transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program. These funds can be used to assist in moving water to livestock in need, providing emergency forage for livestock, and rehabilitating lands severely affected by the drought.
In Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Scott, Stoddard, Perry and Ste. Genevieve Counties, the Emergency Conservation Program has been approved to provide cost-share assistance for livestock water in areas affected by severe drought.
For producers looking to connect with other water sources or drill new wells, the ECP can cover up to 75 percent of the cost to implement emergency practices and 50 percent of permanent practices.
Interested producers should contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency before taking any action and requests must be approved by FSA before beginning any work, said Terry Birk, executive director of the Cape Girardeau County FSA.
Applications are being accepted now in all counties and will be accepted through Sept. 7 in Cape Girardeau, Bollinger and Scott Counties. An application deadline hasn't yet been set in Stoddard, Perry and Ste. Genevieve Counties.