Ranchers who lost fences in wildfires should apply for assistance before rebuilding

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) is reminding ranchers whose fences were lost or damaged in recent wildfires to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

Although some ranchers may have already started rebuilding, those who haven’t should apply immediately, before any rebuilding begins—or risk forfeiting program eligibility.

USDA Texas FSA Acting Executive Director James Douglass says that producers should still submit an application at their local FSA office even though there is a current backlog of ECP funds. FSA district directors can waive the start date for beginning reconstructive work on a case-by-case basis, allowing producers to start repairing fences before funds are secured without jeopardizing program eligibility.

Conservation problems that existed before the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance. ECP program participants can receive financial assistance for up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved emergency conservation practices.

To find out if your county is accepting ECP applications, or to request a start date waiver, contact your local FSA office.

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