(St. Albans, VT), October 27, 2022 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director Laurie Locke announced today that Franklin County is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from a Microburst Wind Event that occurred on July 21, 2022 and caused damage to maple orchards. ECP signup will begin on November 7, 2022 and end on December 7, 2022.
The approved ECP practice under this authorization include EC-1, Debris removal.
ECP assists producers with the recovery cost to restore the agricultural land to pre disaster conditions. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of approved restoration activity. Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers may receive up to 90 percent cost-share.
Producers with damage from this event must apply for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. FSA's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental compliance review process is required to be completed before any actions are taken. Submitting an application after reconstructive work has been completed may not qualify for ECP.
FSA county committees will evaluate applications based on an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the damage. An on-site inspection does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be provided.
The 2018 Farm Bill increased the payment limitation for ECP to $500,000 per disaster. The use of ECP funds is limited to activities to return the land to the relative pre-disaster condition. Conservation concerns that were present on the land prior to the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance.
For more information on ECP, please contact the Franklin County FSA office at (802) 527-1296 or visit the office at 50 South Main Street, St. Albans, Vermont. Please enter through Stebbins Street, our entrance is at the back of the building.