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Farmers bring questions about USDA recovery programs

Travis Roling

Farmers had a lot of questions about USDA programs for flood recovery. Thursday, at a meeting with four USDA agencies, the Farm Service Agency stressed the importance of landowners contacting the FSA prior to starting repairs on damaged land. Conservation specialist Shelly Berry says the ECP, Emergency Conservation Program funds, are intended to bring land to its original condition.

Marty Comstock with the Natural Resources Conservation Service says the Emergency Watershed Program, the EWP, will help with levee repair on smaller tributaries. The meeting was one in a series to reach affected producers, according to Jessica Claypole, outreach specialist with the FSA.

“A lot of assistance is out there,” Claypole told Brownfield Ag News Thursday at the meeting near Boonville, Missouri. “It’s important for producers to know there is money available, there is assistance available; we encourage them to visit their local service center.”

The meeting, which also included USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Rural Development, attracted a roomful of farmers and stakeholders asking for details on government programs.

“There’s a lot of crops that couldn’t get planted, there are a lot of questions on prevented plant crops, there are a lot of questions on what cover crops we can use,” said Travis Roling, who farms in Cole and Callaway Counties. “And what are we looking for in 2020 and what’s going to happen then?”

Roling came to the meeting wondering what he should do to treat weeds in the acres that he didn’t get planted, but after hearing from USDA officials had a better idea of his approach.

“We’re going to go in and we’re disk up what we can and get a cover crop on that ground, hold that dirt and conserve that soil and build that soil up,” Roling told Brownfield, “and get something positive out of a negative.”  

AUDIO: Jessica Claypole
AUDIO: Travis Roling

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