Cleaon Bradford, District Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, announced the availability of financial assistance through a special initiative for local agricultural producers impacted by the exceptional drought the state is experiencing. According to the Aug. 7, Drought Monitor, 97 percent of Oklahoma is in an extreme drought and 17 percent is in an exceptional drought. Ponds are dry or stagnate and are now dangerous to livestock and the health of the herd. Over three-fourths of pasture and range land was rated poor to very poor according to the National Agricultural Statistic Service.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS is addressing emergency issues associated with livestock production and recovery efforts aimed at providing water for livestock and wildlife on grazing lands throughout Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma is one of the hardest hit states and our livestock herds are in dire need of water. This funding will help producers keep their livestock healthy as well as addressing mitigation needs for future droughts,” said Cleaon Bradford.
Applications are being taken at the USDA Service Center, 4238 NE 1st St. , Pryor, on a continuous basis, however only those applications received by Nov. 16, will be considered for funding in 2013.
Through EQIP, producers can apply for numerous practices designed to provide immediate drought relief as well as those which can reduce the impacts of future droughts including watering facilities, ponds, wells, solar pumps, and pipelines.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.