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USDAThe USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) issued guidance to expedite application processing related to farm and forest land cleanup and recovery for agricultural producers and forest landowners in states with land impacted by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

The expedited application processing guidance is applicable to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP), and Tree Assistance Program (TAP).  USDA is streamlining the necessary environmental compliance documentation for many of the requests the agency will receive and will eliminate the need for multiple site visits where possible.

The scope of the expedited assistance is limited to surface debris removal and restoration of permanent fencing, provided that the ground is not disturbed below the existing plow zone or previous disturbance.

There are instances where this streamlining may not immediately be realized, such as If tree roots in the ground remain intact and need to be removed mechanically.  In such case, a separate analysis and site-specific evaluation will be required.  However, FSA will continue to identify additional streamlining opportunities while providing necessary environmental compliance for its customers.

Producers should contact their local county office before taking action. Find a county office on farmers.gov.