Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that farmers and ranchers will receive approximately $71 million in Emergency Conservation Program funds to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters in 2008 and 2009.
The money will go to farmers in 26 states for use to remove farmland debris, restore fences, grade and shape land and repair conservation structures that were damaged by floods, storms and wildfires. Funds will also provide emergency water conservation measures for areas impacted by severe drought.
For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must have created conservation problems that, if untreated, would impair or endanger the land or affect the land's productive capacity.
Heavy flooding this spring caused severe damage to farms in multiple states, including severe crop damage and farm equipment loss in Tennessee.
Last month, flooding in Michigan nearly washed away the Iona Farm Power Show when the banks of the Grand River overflowed, trapping more than 1,000 vehicles in a mucky parking lot.
Farmers involved in the show's tractor pull mused that their tractors could easily haul the vehicles out, but assuming liability for damages put them off the idea, according to the Grand Rapids Press.