Richland County Farm Service Agency Accepting Emergency Conservation Program Applications

Sidney - May 25 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director Tammy Lyseng announced that Richland County is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from drought. ECP signup for drought began on May 24 and ends on July 22.

The approved ECP practices under this authorization include installing pipe to an existing or newly developed source of water, one-time connection fees to public rural water utility lines charged by the water service authority which is limited to labor, equipment, and materials, storage facilities, including tanks incorporated into new or existing water distribution systems, constructing and deepening wells for livestock water; developing springs or seeps for livestock water wells where there is no other source of emergency water available; permanently installed submersible pump; solar panels to provide power to pump water for livestock and the solar panels are the least costly alternative.  

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

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.

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, contact the Richland County FSA office at 406-433-2103 or visit


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