FSA Begins Accepting Applications for Emergency Conservation Program to Restore Damages from Severe Winter Storms
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced that it will begin accepting applications today for Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funds to address damages “to eligible farmland, fences, and conservation structures” caused by the series of severe atmospheric rivers which hit the state from late December to mid-January.
ECP funding may provide up to 75% of the eligible cost of practices necessary to “restore the farmland to pre-disaster conditions,” not to exceed $500,000. Approved practices include debris removal, fence restoration, grading, restoring conservation structures and shaping and leveling. Eligible producers must apply for assistance before beginning repair work.
ECP signups begin today and will be accepted through April 14. Producers in the following 41 counties are eligible for assistance: Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.
For more information, click here. To apply, contact your county FSA office (you can find your county office’s contact information here).
USDA Designates Stanislaus Co. a Primary Natural Disaster Area Due to September’s Excessive Heat
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated Stanislaus County as a primary natural disaster area due to “Excessively high temperatures that occurred from September 1, 2022, through September 9, 2022.” Counties bordering Stanislaus County – Alameda, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Tuolumne – have been designated as “contiguous natural disaster areas.”
Ranchers within primary or contiguous natural disaster areas are eligible for consideration for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including FSA emergency loans which can be used for purposes such as replacing equipment or livestock.
The deadline to apply for emergency assistance under the declaration is September 13, 2023 For more information, click here. To apply for an emergency loan or other assistance, contact your county FSA office (you can find your county office’s contact information here).
SWRCB Again Extends Curtailment Suspensions Within Scott River Watershed
On Thursday, the State Water Resources Control Board announced that curtailments in the Scott River watershed remain suspended through midnight this Friday, February 17, so long as flows of 200 cfs are maintained at the Fort Jones gage (if flows dip below 200 cfs, diversion under all water rights listed here must immediately cease).
Otherwise, water rights curtailment suspensions and conditional curtailments remain unchanged from the statuses reported in the January 30 edition of Legislative Bulletin.
Rancher Technical Assistance Program Hosts Flood Assistance Webinar
On Friday, the Rancher Technical Assistance Program hosted a Flood Assistance Webinar for ranchers and producers who may have been impacted by recent storms.
Navdeep Dhillon, the Farm Program Chief for USDA, Farm Service Agency in California provided and overview about the different programs available. These programs include:
Emergency low interest loans are available to those with a loss in access of 30%. The deadline to sign up must be within eight months of the disaster.
To view Friday’s webinar, click here. For further information on loan assistance programs click here. RTAP is a joint project developed by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation and Western Resource Strategies, LLC and funded by the California Cattle Council.
Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Available for Six Counties
Agricultural businesses in San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties impacted by recent winter storms and floods that began on Dec. 27, 2022, are eligible to apply for long-term, low interest direct federal loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
According to SBA, “Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.” For further information on these loans click here.
Although the Economic Injury Deadline isn’t until Oct. 16, 2023, SBA advises submitting applications as soon as possible.
For further information on this funding click here.
New Episode of Stories from California Cattle Country
Stories from California Cattle Country, “The Red Bluff Bull & Gelding Sale with Cheryl LaFranchi” is out now. To listen to the episode, click here. Stories from California Cattle Country is produced by The California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council. If you want a glimpse into our travels, follow the podcast’s Instagram account @calcattlecountry.