A lack of moisture over an extended period of time has caused producers in Van Buren County to suffer from the effects of severe drought conditions. Farms and ranches experiencing severe drought conditions may be eligible for cost-share assistance under a disaster program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (FSA). ECP provides cost-share assistance if the damage is so severe that water available for livestock or orchards and vineyards has been reduced below normal to the extent that neither can survive without additional water.

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost shares not to exceed 75 percent of the cost of installing eligible temporary measures. Cost sharing for permanent measures is based on 50 percent of the total eligible cost. Cost-share assistance is limited to $200,000 per person or legal entity per natural disaster.

Producers who have experienced severe drought conditions requiring outside assistance should contact the local FSA county office. Requests for assistance will be accepted at Van Buren office from July 25-Aug. 25, 2012.

To be eligible for cost shares, practices shall not be started until a request has first been filed at the county office and an onsite inspection has been made by the office. There is currently no funding available for the program. Interested producers should contact the local at 201 Factory Road, Marshall, (870) 448-3184.