Flood Damage Assistance Available for Farmers

The Jefferson/Sevier/Cocke Farm Service Agency county committee has requested assistance for damage suffered due to flooding for Cocke County farmers, through the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). “If ECP is approved for Jefferson County, then the county office will hold a signup period for producers to request assistance through ECP”, according to James Giffin, County Executive Director of Jefferson/Sevier/Cocke FSA Office.

Farmland damage eligible for ECP for cost share must be of such magnitude that it would be too costly for the producer to rehabilitate without Federal assistance. All ECP payments are subject to eligibility provisions and the availability of funds, therefore, ECP is not: an “entitlement” program or intended to compensate everyone who suffers a loss.

The minimum qualifying cost of restoration is set at $1,000 per participant or $250 for producers certifying as limited resource. The minimum qualifying cost $1,000 or $250 for limited resource producers, shall be based on the total eligible cost of all practices for the disaster event.

ECP cost share approvals or payments must never exceed 75 percent of the producer’s actual cost to perform the practice, unless the producer claims limited resource producer status by filing CCC-860. Cost share level up to 90 percent of eligible costs is authorized for ECP practices for limited resource producers if approved by county committee.

The following are eligible practices farmers can request ECP cost share payments: removing debris, grading, shaping, releveling farmland, restoring permanent fences, as well as restoring the following conservation structures: dams, ponds, sod waterways, diversions, terrace systems, wells, springs, and ditches.

Giffin said: “Cost share for grass killed by standing water; buildings, farm equipment, farm roads, farm bridges, damage to creek and river channels, and stream crossing are not eligible for ECP cost share”.

If you have damage to farmland from flooding that is listed as an eligible ECP practice, take pictures of the damage of items that need to be repaired, before the ECP sign up is announced. Fences might need to be repaired to keep livestock in. The pictures will serve as evidence of damage caused by flooding.

When Jefferson County is approved for the Emergency Conservation Program, the County office will announce the signup period for famers to visit the office and make application for ECP assistance.

If you have any questions, visit the Jefferson/Sevier/Cocke FSA Office at 321 Hwy 92 South Dandridge or call at 865-397-3151 or email james.giffin@tn.usda.gov.

Source: Jefferson/Sevier/Cocke Farm Service Agency