On April 30, Mississippi residents experienced severe storm damage from tornadoes and strong winds. Many parts of the state were declared a disaster area by the Governor, allowing residents to receive federal assistance.
The United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is working closely with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and other state and federal agencies to assist current NRCS customers and other individuals affected by the storms. Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds will be available through the Tornado Disaster Relief Initiative to address damaged conservation practice(s). NRCS is offering assistance to help address damaged conservation practice(s) and structures with Mississippi farmers in the counties of Adams, Attala, Chickasaw, Claiborne, Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, Smith, Union, Warren, and Yazoo. All applicants will need to meet all EQIP eligibility requirements.
Since this initiative is a result of an emergency, Kurt Readus, NRCS state conservationist for Mississippi is issuing a waiver to all participants affected by the tornadoes of April 30, 2017.
A waiver allows a producer to start a practice in a timely manner due to the emergency circumstances. However, anyone starting a practice prior to receiving funding will not receive funding if the contract is not approved or if the practice(s) are not completed in a manner that meets the standards and specifications of the NRCS. The waiver will expire on September 30, 2017.
“We are glad to be able to secure special funds to assist the Mississippi producers that were hit by storms,” stated Kurt Readus, NRCS state conservationist for Mississippi. “We are not only able to assist with storm damage but also help to address the environmental concerns after the devastating storm damage.” The deadline for applying for assistance during the first application cut-off period is June 2, 2017. Additional information may be obtained by visiting your local NRCS office.
NRCS financial assistance covers part of the cost to implement conservation practices. Interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center or visit the Environmental Quality Incentives Program page for technical and financial assistance information.