The Woodward News

Local News

August 15, 2012

Funds available to help ag producers with water issues

Woodward, Okla. — Due to the ongoing drought, area farmers and ranchers who make most of their living off livestock may be eligible for funding to get water supplies for their herds.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced financial assistance is available through a special initiative for Oklahoma agriculture producers that have been affected by the exceptional drought that has stricken the state over the last two years.

According to J.T. Winters and Stanley Irving of the NRCS office in Woodward, the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) is using funds to help those livestock producers get water to their livestock.

"The funds are for drought water quality issues and it is designated to cover the livestock water issues due to the creeks and ponds that have dried up over the last 2 summers," Irving said.

According to Winters and Irving, producers will be able to use the money to put in watering facilities (water tanks), ponds, wells, solar pumps and pipelines to get much needed water to their livestock.

Producers must be able to show farm records that they do make most of their living from the production of livestock when they apply for the assistance, Irving said.

According to a NRCS press release, landowners statewide can apply for assistance, but priority will go to those who have been in the exceptional drought area the longest.  This includes Woodward County, according to the drought monitor map on the National Drought Mitigation Center website at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu.

To apply for EQIP assistance in Woodward County, stop by the NRCS office located at 3300 Oklahoma Ave. Suite 800 in Woodward.

Applications will be accepted through August 27, 2012.

Landowners with a current EQIP contract can also request a contract modification to re-schedule planned conservation practices such as prescribed grazing, pasture planting and other conservation activities, according to the press release.

"Landowners will need to re-schedule these practices to update their information and so they don't overlap on practices," Irving said.

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