FSA offers wildfire disaster assistance
Francie Tolle, executive director for Oklahoma Farm Service Agency, announced farms and ranches suffering severe damage by recent wildfires may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program.
"Assistance is available to restoring or replace permanent fences damaged during the devastating wildfires," said Tolle. "I encourage everyone who had fences damaged or destroyed to visit their local FSA office and learn more about ECP before repairs are started."
The ECP provides cost-share assistance to affected producers at a rate not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. Producers will need to contact the local FSA office for a review of their situation before repairs begin.
FSA also has an Emergency Loan Program available at a 2.25 percent interest rate to assist producers Tolle noted. An expedited loan process has been approved to process these loans that involving feed losses such as hay destroyed by the wildfires.
Programs could become available to assist producers who have suffered livestock losses, hay and feed losses, and grazing losses due to fire, extreme heat or drought. Producers are encouraged to maintain verifiable documentation that will prove the death of eligible livestock occurred as a direct result of an eligible adverse weather event or fire. A livestock producer may provide reliable records, along with verifiable beginning and ending inventory, as proof of death. Pictures of lost livestock, hay, or feed along with a veterinarian or neighbor verification is encouraged.
Additional information on ECP and all FSA programs is available at your local FSA office or on the internet at www.fsa.usda.gov/ok.