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South Dakota Producers Work with USDA to Recover From Flooding

Joe Fillaus and sons, Cole and Carter, standing in front of their June 2013 corn crop after restoration was made to their field. USDA photo.

Joe Fillaus and sons, Cole and Carter, standing in front of their June 2013 corn crop after restoration was made to their field. USDA photo.

Two years after the Missouri River flooding of 2011, several Charles Mix County, S.D. producers are still working to get their flooded crop land back to full production. When the flood waters receded in the fall of 2011 portions of the river bottom crop land were covered with one to six feet of sand debris. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) for debris removal was one tool that was utilized in this restoration effort.

The Emergency Conservation Program assisted the flooded farmers with cost-share of up to 75 percent for the expense of removing this debris. Charles Mix County farmer Joe Fillaus and sons Cole and Carter had substantial sand debris to deal with. He used his own equipment to spread out and till in the areas with a foot or less sand.

A heavy equipment contractor was brought in to help remove the deeper sand. Joe commented, “The contractor came out here and told me there was 200 semi-truck loads of sand per acre. I didn’t think it would ever look good again. There are still little improvements to be made, but it has progressed leaps and bounds from where it was. I appreciate the help, the ECP program worked well. Anytime I had a question, I just called Ruth (Bergin, Program Technician at the FSA Office). It all worked out very well.”

USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought. More information on ECP is available at FSA offices and on FSA’s Web site at: http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

USDA Agencies such as FSA, Rural Development and Natural Resources Conservation Service are focusing their efforts through the StrikeForce initiative across the state, increasing relationships and partnerships in underserved areas.

Sand Debris left from the 2011 Flood in Charles Mix County, South Dakota. USDA photo.

Sand Debris left from the 2011 Flood in Charles Mix County, South Dakota. USDA photo.

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