USDA: $2 Million for Klamath Farmers

USDA Announces $2 Million Initiative To Help Drought-Stricken Klamath Farmers

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore, March 18, 2010 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) California State Conservationist Ed Burton and Oregon State Conservationist Ron Alvarado today announced $2 million is available from for a special drought initiative for the Klamath Basin. “Ron and I encourage all eligible producers in the Klamath Basin to apply for this additional funding to assist them in establishing necessary cover crops because of decreasing soil moisture and the risk of productive topsoil loss due to wind erosion,” said Burton.

The sign up continues through April 9, 2010.  Applications will be ranked and selected for funding every Thursday throughout the sign-up until available funds are depleted.

“We are encouraging folks with bare fields to come in as soon as possible to utilize this assistance prior to the depletion of adequate soil moisture,” said Alvarado.

This Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) initiative will provide farmers in the reclamation project area with technical and financial assistance to address the most immediate and critical drought-related soil erosion concerns.  Producers will be eligible to receive EQIP payments up to 75 percent of the average estimated cost for implementation of approved conservation practices.  In addition, historically underserved producers may be able to receive payments up to 90 percent of practice implementation costs.

Available practices under the EQIP Klamath Drought Initiative will establish conservation cover that minimizes the effects of wind erosion on bare fields.  Producers irrigating from the reclamation project area with highly erodible soils will receive the highest priority.  This initiative includes farmers in parts of Klamath County in Oregon and Modoc and Siskiyou counties in California.

Producers can apply for assistance through NRCS at their local USDA Service Center. NRCS field office phone numbers for counties within the EQIP Klamath Drought Initiative are:  Klamath Falls Service Center, Oregon: 541-883-6924, extension 118 and Tulelake Service Center, California: 530-667-4247, extension 102

For information about other NRCS conservation programs, visit www.or. or visit the nearest USDA Service Center in your area.  Since its inception in 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.

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