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What is ECP and How to Apply

What is ECP (Emergency Conservation Program)?

ECP provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland/ conservation structures that are damaged by natural disasters and implement emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.

What is an Eligible Loss?

FSA County Committees will determine land eligibility based on on-site inspections after land damaging events. Events may include extreme weather or natural occurrences like flood, tornado, drought, wildfire, hurricane/typhoon. 

Eligible land may include: 

  • Commercial farming, ranching, and orchard operations.
  • Growing nursery stock and Christmas tree plantations.
  • Grazing for commercial livestock production.
  • Conservation structures such as: waterways, terraces, diversions, and windbreaks.

ECP is administered by FSA state and county committees and county offices. Producers should contact their local FSA office regarding ECP enrollment periods and eligibility.

Funding

  • FSA County Committee may approve up to $125,000 for land rehabilitation expenses.
  • FSA State Committee may approve anything above $125,001 to $250,000 for land rehabilitation expenses.
  • ECP is Limited to $500,000 per individual or legal entity per disaster.

ECP funds are a cost-share payment; farmers may receive up to 75% of eligible costs to implement approved restoration practices. Beginning farmers/ranchers, limited-resource, socially disadvantaged may receive up to 90% of eligible cost to implement approved restoration practices. 

For circumstances when fencing needs to be replaced immediately to contain livestock, an advance payment of 25% of the expected eligible cost-share may be available. 

Process

The County Office Committee (COC) must make an overall initial assessment of the damage after a disaster occurs to ensure that the resulting damage meets the minimum ECP requirements. If requirements are met, the County Executive Director (CED) or COC will consult with State Committee (STC) or State Executive Director (SED) to request ECP implementation approval and availability of funds from the National Office.

Your local FSA Office will inform you about ECP implementation through press releases, radio spots, newsletters, and flyers. 

What To Do Before A Loss

  • Know your FSA Agent.
  • Make sure the local FSA office has your farm map on file.

What To Do After A Loss

  • Document loss — Farmers should document damage immediately as much as possible after a storm (via photos, video)
  • Report your damage to your local FSA office — This helps the local office and county committee understand the extent of damage and also helps to determine whether ECP is needed. Get clarification from your local FSA office whether you should wait or proceed with rehabilitation work.
  • Keep an eye out for the ECP announcement — Your local FSA office will provide guidance on the approval process and next steps.

FSA Contact information

You visit: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app to locate your nearest FSA office. If you have trouble locating, getting in touch with, or receiving adequate service from your agent, please let us know.

To learn more and inquire about particular FSA disaster assistance programs, email [email protected] or call 877.207.6373

USDA ECP Fact Sheet

Want to really dig into the details of ECP? Review FSA’s Handbook on ECP.

About the Farmers of Color Network (FOCN) at RAFI-USA

FOCN develops relationships with farmers of color in order to support and honor multi-generational organizing, sustainable agricultural practices, and ancestral traditions and knowledge. FOCN provides farmer-led technical assistance, offers funding opportunities, and hosts networking events and gatherings to expand market access.

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