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NRCS announces drought help for ranchers, farmers and wildlife


Bruce Petersen, Nevada state conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, has announced that financial assistance is available for agricultural producers impacted by the drought conditions the state is experiencing.  Ranchers and farmers should submit applications by Friday, Aug. 17 at their local USDA Service Center.

“Nevada is one of the hardest hit states and our livestock herds are in dire need of water and forage. This funding will help producers keep their cattle healthy and protect rangeland,” said Petersen.  A map of the drought areas in Nevada is located at: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_state.htm?NV,W.  According to the July 31 U.S. Drought Monitor, 19 percent of Nevada is in extreme drought and almost 79 percent is in severe drought.

NRCS is addressing emergency issues associated with livestock production and recovery efforts aimed at restoring lands within extreme drought areas through the Farm Bill’s Environmental Quality Incentives and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Programs.

“With this funding, we hope to provide some immediate relief for ranchers, livestock and wildlife,” said Gary Roeder, NRCS assistant state conservationist.  Farmers and ranchers can apply for numerous practices designed to provide immediate drought relief and to help with recovery from the drought. These practices include prescribed grazing, livestock watering facilities and water conservation practices.

Eligible producers also can re-apply for financial assistance to re-install or re-apply failed conservation practices due to drought and modify existing contracts to re-schedule planned conservation practices.

“NRCS will work closely with producers to ensure successful implementation of planned conservation practices,” Roeder said. “Where conservation activities have failed because of drought, NRCS will look for opportunities to work with farmers and ranchers to re-apply those activities.”

Applications are being taken at local USDA service centers.  Applications are accepted on a continuous basis but applications received by Aug. 17 will be considered in the first funding cycle.

For more information, call your local USDA service center listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture or online at http://www.nv.nrcs.usda.gov/contact.

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