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USDA funding available to farmers for ice storm cleanup

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Massachusetts has applied for and received an allocation of funding to provide monetary assistance to producers under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). The funds will be disbursed to assist in cleanup and restoration of areas affected by the Ice Storm of December 2008.

Farmers in Berkshire County are encouraged to contact the Berkshire County FSA Office to apply for cost share assistance for fencing repair in livestock areas and debris cleanup in Fruit Orchards and Maple Sugar bushes.

The FSA State Committee has set up an initial sign-up deadline of February 27, 2008 for this program so please get in touch with FSA right away. There are some activities producers should be completing now such as documenting the losses and cleanup by taking pictures and keeping receipts and a record of time spent in cleanup. If producers have to hire in custom machine work, get written estimates and keep copies of bills for labor e.g. operator and dozer cost per hour or 2 men and a chainsaw  cost per hour etc. If you are doing your own cleanup, then record man hours spent even if it cleanup is already underway.

Producers should establish and/or update their eligibility for USDA programs with FSA. All producer eligibility documentation must be current prior to cost share approval.

To sign up producers should visit the FSA office in Room 208 at the Federal Building at 78 Center Street in Pittsfield to update or establish your eligibility and delineate your property. Producers will also fill out the application for the Emergency Conservation Program cost share assistance. Please bring available documentation including photos, receipts, invoices etc.

The Berkshire County FSA Office is open from 8:00 until 4:30 Monday thru Friday. The office will be closed February 10th for training and February 16th for Presidentís day.


Source: iberkshires.com

Publication date: 2/9/2009


 


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