Area farmers can apply for emergency help

CHARLESTON — Farmers in the Mid-Ohio Valley can apply for emergency assistance after rainfall damaged their fields.

A year of steady rains led to muddy fields across West Virginia, and the wet conditions caused bare ground on farmland and made it difficult for farmers to make and feed hay, officials said. Now, farmers with damaged livestock feeding areas can apply for emergency assistance to help revegetate their land with grasses.

The state Conservation Committee recently approved an Emergency Assistance for Revegetation program that will allow farmers on affected lands to apply to their local conservation district for $60 per acre to reseed feeding areas. There is a cap of up to 50 acres per farm.

The window of time the applications will be accepted is short, so interested farmers should contact the conservation district in their area, officials said. Conservation specialists and technicians with the local conservation district or the West Virginia Conservation Agency will visit the farm, take photos and complete a site visit form to document conditions.

Applications will be approved based upon site visits and available funding, officials said.

Cooperators who receive emergency assistance must follow reseeding guidelines provided by the West Virginia University Extension Service and/or the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s forage and biomass planting standards.

Cooperators will receive payment after the revegetation practice has been verified, receipts and documentation have been submitted, appropriate documents are signed and the local conservation district board approves the payment. Reseeding that a farmer has already done on his own is not eligible for payment after the fact.

In Calhoun, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood counties, the Little Kanawha Conservation District will assist farmers. Phone is 304-422-9088 and email is LKCD@wvca.us.

In Pleasants, Tyler and Wetzel counties, the Upper Ohio Conservation District will provide assistance. Phone is 304-758-2512 and email is UOCD@wvca.us.

In Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison and Lewis counties, the West Fork Conservation District will provide assistance. Phone is 304-627-2160 and email is WFCD@wvca.us.

In Jackson, Mason and Putnam counties, the Western Conservation District will provide assistance. Phone is 304-675-3054 and email is WCD@wvca.us.

The mission of the West Virginia Conservation Agency is to provide for and promote the protection and conservation of West Virginia’s soil, land, water and related resources for the health, safety and general welfare of the state’s citizens.