Weather Alert

Mower County is among the Minnesota counties eligible for USDA-NRCS aid

With Mower County among most counties in Minnesota under a federal disaster declaration, local landowners who lost crops to flooding are eligible to apply for an easement program.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easement (EWP-FPE), which has more than $1 million to fund conservation easements in Minnesota.

Landowners flood-prone areas and farmers and ranches who lost crops to flooding can apply through Dec. 8, 2019.

Earlier this year, NRCS in Minnesota responded to prolonged rain and flooding in Mower County and other counties by offering a special incentive program signup through mid-July to help farmers plant a cover crop as an alternative to letting their crop fields go fallow and uncovered.

Through the EWP-FPE program, eligible applicants voluntarily agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the United States through NRCS. Compensation is based on the value of the easement as determined by an appraisal or market analysis. These easements may occur on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding and natural disasters. NRCS will work to restore the easement to its natural floodplain condition.

EWP-FPE is a voluntary program through which eligible applicants agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the United States through NRCS. Compensation is based on the value of the easement as determined by an appraisal or market analysis.

These easements may occur on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding and natural disasters. NRCS will work to restore the easement to its natural floodplain condition.

Mower County landowners are encouraged to contact the local NRCS field office in Austin to apply or learn more about floodplain easement opportunities. Mower County’s USDA-NRCS office is at 1408 21st Ave. N.W. in the same building in Austin as USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Mower Soil & Water Conservation District.

For more information about NRCS easement programs, visit your local NRCS office or see the Minnesota NRCS website and the EWP-FPE factsheet.


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