Recent Press Releases

Thune Announces USDA Emergency Conservation Funding for Two South Dakota Counties

Jackson and Shannon Counties to Receive $131,300 for Drought Damage

September 7, 2007

Washington, D.C. —  Today, Senator John Thune announced Jackson and Shannon Counties in Western South Dakota have been approved for Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding due to drought.

Jackson and Shannon Counties will be allocated a total of $131,300 for drought assistance.

The ECP program gives producers additional resources to remove debris from farmland, restore fences and conservation structures, provide water for livestock in drought situations and grade and shape farmland damaged by a natural disaster. The program is administered by the Farm Service Agency's (FSA) state and county committees. Locally-elected county committees are authorized to implement ECP for all disasters except drought, which is authorized at the national office of FSA. Eligible producers will receive cost-share assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost of the approved practice, as determined by FSA county committees.

"Although much of South Dakota has received adequate rainfall, portions of the state once again suffered losses due to drought this past summer," said Thune. "I encourage farmers and ranchers in Jackson and Shannon Counties as well as those in the 10 other South Dakota counties eligible for emergency conservation funding this year to visit their local FSA offices to find out which ECP practices will help them the most."

Producers should check with their local FSA offices regarding ECP sign-up periods, which are set by the FSA county committees. For a producer's land to be eligible, the disaster must create new conservation problems that, if untreated, would impair or endanger the land and affect its productive capacity. Conservation problems existing prior to the applicable disaster are ineligible for ECP assistance.

On August 16, Thune announced ECP funding for 10 other South Dakota Counties. At that time Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Meade, Pennington, Perkins and Ziebach Counties were to be allocated a total of $1,177,000 for drought funding and Brown and Spink Counties would receive a total of $215,000 to repair flood damage.

A fact sheet with details on the ECP program can be found at: