NRCS offers funds for cover crops to provide livestock drought relief
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is assisting Missouri livestock producers affected by drought. State Conserva-tionist J.R. Flores said Missouri has $2 million available to help farmers plant cover crops to address inadequate feed and forage and other natural resource concerns.
Cover crops established under this emergency initiative offered through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program may be grazed or hayed. This differs from existing EQIP cover crop contracts, which only allow grazing.
Farmers and ranchers with operations in any of the counties impacted by drought can apply for assistance at local NRCS offices until Aug. 31. The nearest NRCS office is in Ava; for more information, call 417-683-4816, ext. 3.
The U.S. Drought Monitor Report (droughtmonitor.unl.edu), which shows Ozark County as “abnormally dry,” will be used to determine eligibility. Applications for assistance in counties with the more severe drought conditions will be given priority.
“Missouri has severe drought conditions, among the worst in the Midwest, and we believe that seeding cover crops into pastures and cropland will at least offer our farmers and ranchers a chance of providing feed and forage over the next few months,” Flores said. “We are focusing on what we can do to provide the most assistance in the quickest manner.”