Wasco County Farm Service Agency to Begin Accepting Emergency Conservation Program Applications

THE DALLES, Oregon, October 19, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Lissa Biehn today announced that Wasco County will begin accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from 2021 wildfires. ECP signup will begin on November 1, 2021, and end on December 31, 2021.

The approved ECP practices under this authorization includes EC3 – Repair/Replacement of Livestock Fencing.

ECP assists producers with the recovery cost to restore the farmland to pre-disaster conditions. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of approved restoration activity. Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers may receive up to 90 percent cost-share.

“Dealing with natural disasters is never easy, especially when you have to consider the health and safety of livestock, but it’s important for producers to call our office before they take any action,” said Biehn.

Producers with damage from such events must apply for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. FSA’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental compliance review process is required to be completed before any actions are taken. Submitting an application after reconstructive work has been completed may not qualify for ECP.

FSA county committees will evaluate applications based on an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the damage. An on-site inspection does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be provided. Photographic evidence of damages to farmland is required of applicants in order for FSA to evaluate the requests for disaster assistance.

The 2018 Farm Bill increased the payment limitation for ECP to $500,000 per disaster. The use of ECP funds is limited to activities to return the land to the relative pre-disaster condition. Conservation concerns that were present on the land prior to the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance.

For more information on ECP, please contact the Wasco/Hood River County FSA office at 541-298-8559 ext. 2 or visit farmers.gov/recover.