AUBURN, Ala. – Ben Malone, State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, has encouraged eligible landowners impacted by last year’s extreme drough to apply for available assistance from the agency by July 28.

Agricultural producers statewide suffered losses due to low rainfall, and landowners in counties most impacted will be assigned the highest priority for financial aid. Funding will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and address fencing, water troughs, pasture, hay land re-establishment, wells, and prescribed grazing. These practices and others will not only help landowners recover losses but serve as a proactive step in the event of future drought situations. Measures such as planting drought affected cool season grasses such as fescue, and installing water tanks and fencing will make lands more sustainable.

“Landowners across the state have weathered the drought for months and these funds will assist them in replenishing losses and doing what they can to help their grazing lands recover,” Malone said.

During the worst of the drought, the USDA reported more than $30 million in disaster funds were distributed nationally for livestock feed programs and non-insured disaster support. In addition, because livestock feed was in short supply, cattle sales were 19% ahead of 2015, which impacted the value of livestock that was sold.

Alabama landowners interested in applying for drought funding should contact their local USDA NRCS service center.

Lee Perryman for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.