LEWISTON — Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Oxford counties USDA Farm Service Agency Executive Director Marcia Hall announced that the three counties are approved to accept applications for the Emergency Conservation Program to address damages from this season’s drought.

ECP sign-up will run through Dec. 15.

According to CED Hall, approved ECP practices under this authorization include wells, pipelines and watering facilities for livestock.

ECP is administered by FSA to assist producers with the cost of recovery activities required to restore the agricultural land to pre-disaster conditions.

Producers who sustained damage from this disaster event are encouraged to submit their request for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. Submitting a request after completing qualified reconstructive work may result in forfeiture of program eligibility.

FSA county committees will complete an evaluation of submitted requests and obligate available funds based on an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the eligible damage. Completion of the on-site inspection does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be allocated.

The use of obligated funds is limited to return the land to the relative pre-disaster condition. Conservation concerns that were present on the land prior to the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of completing the approved restoration activity.

FMI: 207-753-9400 ext. 2, 207-743-5789.

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