ALABAMA COUNTIES QUALIFY FOR USDA PASTURE RECOVERY PROGRAM
"MONTGOMERY, Ala." Alabama farmers who had forage land damaged as a result of last year's drought can sign-up for the Pasture Recovery Program (PRP) administered through USDA.
Under the PRP, eligible farmers and ranchers whose pastures were damaged by natural disaster in 2000 can receive payments to help them re-establish forage crops.
The PRP is funded at $40 million. The PRP is available only in states with counties that suffered natural disaster damage in 2000 pursuant to the Emergency Conservation Program, including all counties in Alabama.
Signup for the program runs until May 11, 2001. Established pasture is eligible for the PRP if it is land where livestock are normally grazed and was so damaged by natural disaster that seeding is required to re-establish the forage crop.
No assistance is authorized for hayland or rangeland. The PRP has two payment rates, one for reseeding with seedbed preparation and one without.
The Alabama FSA State Committee recently met to establish payment rates for each of the two authorized practices.
The payment rate for reseeding the land with seedbed preparation is set at $73 per acre. Practice PRP2, reseeding without seedbed preparation, is $59 per acre. These rates are based on 65 percent of the average cost to reseed the land.
Payment rates could be reduced depending on the number of applications received.
The practice must be completed by Sept. 30, 2001, except for seedings that cannot be planted in the spring, such as fescue.
Those seedings must be completed by Dec. 31, 2001.
The forage land must be maintained for three years (Dec. 31, 2004) after installation of the practice, and no mechanical harvest is allowed during this time period.
Producers who conducted re-seeding before filing an application for PRP assistance are not eligible for a PRP payment. USDA's rules on the program were published in the Federal Register on March 19, 2001.
To determine if you are eligible for PRP, contact your local USDA Service Center or local FSA office.