Expanded Drought Assistance Program Now Open to Farmers/Ranchers in More Counties

May 1, 2009

DAVIS, Calif., May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist, Ed Burton, is expanding a previously announced drought assistance program to $3 million. Four additional counties have been added to the program and all eligible counties will now have until May 22, 2009 to apply. The four new counties include: Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano and Ventura.

Farmers and ranchers in designated counties with extreme or severe drought conditions, or continuous moderate drought over a multi-year period may apply for assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in California until May 22, 2009. During the special sign up, NRCS will take applications for $3 million now available for practices designed to protect soil and air quality in areas of fallowed fields, keep orchard trees alive, and protect natural resources on ranch and pasture land. Due to the extraordinary conditions, NRCS will pay a higher-than-normal 75 percent cost share rate.

“Our Chief, Dave White, is aware and sympathetic to our producers who are dealing with the results of record low levels of water storage combined with low snow melt, and restricted water deliveries, and has provided the funding for this special initiative,” says Ed Burton, State Conservationist for NRCS in California. “Deliveries from both state and federal water have been adjusted up some, but are still just 10 to 30 percent of normal. Some local irrigation districts in northern California have also had to reduce water delivery to agricultural producers to zero. A half million acres of crop land has been idled due to lack of adequate water to bring up a crop.”

The $3 million is being made available in the following counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.

Practices being offered through the program include establishing vegetative cover, soil surface roughening, incorporation of soil-stabilizing organic matter, silt fencing adjacent to highways, irrigation water management, pruning to keep trees alive, livestock watering facilities, maintaining standing stubble and more. More information on the drought, conservation practices that may mitigate drought-related problems, and payment rates for the current drought initiative are available at www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/features/cadrought.html or by contacting your local NRCS office, listed in the government section of the phone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Helping People Help the Land


SOURCE USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service

Source: newswire

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