July 11, 2017
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone has announced the agency is providing funding to assist landowners impacted by last year’s extreme drought. Eligible landowners should apply by July 28.
Alabama landowners in high priority counties will receive preference for financial assistance because they were impacted the most by drought.
Funding is through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and will address fencing, water troughs, pasture, hay land re-establishment, wells and prescribed grazing. These practices will help landowners recover losses from drought and proactively help landowners in the event of future drought. Measures like planting drought-tolerant cool season grasses and installing water tanks and fencing will make lands more sustainable.
“Landowners across the state have weathered the drought for months, and these funds will assist them in replenishing losses and doing what they can to help their grazing lands recover,” Malone said.
During the worst of the drought, USDA reported more than $30 million in disaster funds were distributed nationally for livestock feed programs and noninsured disaster support. Additionally, livestock feed was in short supply, so cattle sales were 19 percent ahead of 2015. This impacted the value of livestock sold.
Landowners interested in applying for drought funding should contact their local USDA service center to learn more.