NRCS help for blizzard recovery

Farm Forum

Huron – Agricultural producers working their way through Atlas Blizzard recovery may find help through the USDA says Jeff Zimprich, State Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Huron. “We’re open and here to help. Blizzard recovery is far greater than any one organization or agency. NRCS’ professional conservation services can help farmers and ranchers pull through the devastation caused by Atlas.”

The NRCS specialists offer free on-site consultations for various facets of grazing and livestock management explains Zimprich. “We can help people survey their needs related to soils information and technical practice standards for carcass disposal or livestock burials to protect water quality through our Animal Mortality Facility practice. We have technical and financial assistance to help producers to replace destroyed fences, shelterbelts or other conservation practices damaged by the storm.”

“Technical assistance is free and help is available right now for South Dakota,” says Zimprich. Disaster financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides opportunity for early-start waivers. The first step, Zimprich says, is to contact the NRCS at their local USDA Service Center. Producers need to sign an application to be ready for the next funding cut off and application ranking date which is November 15, 2013.

The NRCS’ EQIP is our main Farm Bill conservation financial assistance program that can help address needs explains Zimprich. EQIP is continuous signup and is instrumental in helping ranchers with needs related to water quality and quantity. “In the Atlas situation, financial assistance through EQIP can help with conservation practices such as new water development if the current water source is becoming contaminated or if a contaminated water source must be fenced out to prevent disease or other complications.”