Federal funds available for Hawaii farmers faced with drought

June 1, 2010, 12:40 PM HST · Updated June 1, 12:40 PM

Farmers who suffered from drought conditions in Hawaii are among the list of jurisdictions that could qualify for federal funding.

$88,000 in federal funds is being made available to Hawaii farmers and ranchers to help repair damages caused by natural disasters in 2010.  The funding is part of a larger $12 million appropriation to 14 states that is being provided by the USDA’s Energy Conservation Program.


The funding helps to address farm lands affected by floods, tornadoes, wildfires and severe drought.   For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must have damaged existing conservation measures that:
•    if untreated will impair or endanger the land;
•    materially affect the land’s productive capacity;
•    represent unusual damage that, except for wind erosion, is not likely to recur frequently in the same area; and
•    would be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.

All of the above conditions must be met for eligibility. Conservation problems that existed before the disaster are not eligible for cost-share assistance. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees determine land eligibility based on on-site inspections of damage, taking into account the type and extent of damage.

“USDA is committed to helping farmers and ranchers restore conservation measures on farmland devastated by the recent floods, tornadoes and other disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These funds will help producers recover from several potentially devastating events, and further USDA’s ongoing efforts to maintain a healthy agricultural economy that conserves our environment.”



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