Financial and technical assistance available through Drought Recovery Initiative.
Craig Derickson, state conservationist of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that NRCS has assistance available for farmers and ranchers in southwest Nebraska hit hard by the drought through the Drought Recovery Initiative. Producers have until June 20 to apply for assistance.
Derickson said, “The prolonged lack of rainfall in southwest Nebraska has resulted in a dramatic reduction in available forage for livestock producers and increased the risk of soil erosion on land without sufficient ground cover. The purpose of this initiative is to offer assistance to producers and operators impacted by the drought.”
The Drought Recovery Initiative assistance will be available for land where any portion of the county has been designated a D3 (Extreme) or D4 (Exceptional) drought zone according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map as of May 20. In Nebraska, that includes: Keith, Perkins, Chase, Dundy, Hitchcock, Hayes, Lincoln, Frontier and Red Willow counties. (see the attached map.)
“Through this special initiative, farmers and ranchers may apply for assistance to install conservation practices that can help reduce the negative impacts of the current drought, and will help improve the sustainability of their operation in the long run,” Derickson said.
Conservation practices available to producers through the Drought Recovery Initiative include: cover crops, critical area planting, fence, forage and biomass planting, pipeline, well and pumping stations for livestock water, range planting and more.
Interested participants are encouraged to visit their local NRCS field office to learn more about the assistance available.
“When implemented, these conservation practices will provide additional forage, improve existing forage, and help increase ground cover,” Derickson said.
More information about the Drought Recovery Initiative and other natural resource conservation programs may be found at www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov. Locate your nearest NRCS field office at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.