Drought Livestock Water Assistance
Caldwell County has unfortunately been elevated to the D2 level (Severe Drought) on the U.S. Drought Monitor. To view the U.S. Drought Monitor, go to this link: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ Rainfall shortages exceed 44% in the county and different areas of the county have missed almost all the pockets of storm cells that popped up in May. The Caldwell County FSA Committee has been approved to implement the ECP for Drought and make available practice EC-6 in case any Caldwell County livestock producers would qualify to meet the requirements to install a well, spring, or install water lines to replace depleted livestock water supply sources. ECP can NOT be used to build new ponds, clean out existing ponds, or put a source of water in a hay/cropped field.
The ECP program is only designed to replace a source of water that was adequate and has been depleted by current drought conditions--installing new watering systems in locations where there was not previously an adequate water supply, is not eligible. If your livestock currently has an adequate source of water, you would not be eligible. Stocking rates, the exclusion of livestock from existing ponds, the least expensive method to obtain water, etc. are also factors that are taken into consideration when eligibility is determined.
The Caldwell County FSA office began taking applications on June 6th and has a 30-day signup for the program (deadline is July 6th). Please contact the Kingston office if you have any questions concerning eligibility. Producers who begin work prior to being approved are ineligible for the program and an environmental review must be completed and approved prior to work beginning. Even though there is a 30-day signup on the ECP, it would be terminated immediately upon receiving a significant rainfall to recharge ponds to alleviate the immediate livestock need.