JOHN DAY – Landowners in drought-declared counties, including Grant, can apply for aid to help mitigate the effects of the dry conditions on crop, range and forest lands.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced the funding – up to $26 million – last week. June 26 is the deadline to apply for the aid, and applications may be submitted to the local USDA Service Center.
“This funding will help Oregonians in the most drought-stricken areas of the state to mitigate the impacts of drought on cropland, rangeland and forestland,” said Ron Alvarado, state conservationist. “This funding amplifies the work NRCS continues to do every day to support water conservation, soil health and productivity on Oregon’s working agricultural lands and forest lands.”
The agency will give higher priority to applications in counties with the highest drought status on the USDA Drought Monitor, but producers in all counties with drought declarations, issued by the governor, are eligible to apply. Currently, all of Eastern Oregon is reported at either severe or extreme drought; exceptional drought is the only higher category on the scale.
In Oregon the funding is expected to help develop grazing management plans and install emergency livestock watering facilities, assist with wildfire prevention measures, and deal with soil erosion and water issues on croplands.
The funding will be made available to eligible landowners through the NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
For information locally, call NRCS at 541-575-1274.