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Emergency Conservation Program

What Is The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)?

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) helps farmers and ranchers repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters and put in place methods for water conservation during severe drought. The ECP does this through funding and technical assistance.

FSA also has a related program for emergency forest restoration. Learn more about the Emergency Forest Restoration program.

Fact Sheet: Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)

Why Is The ECP important?

Natural disasters can devastate farmland and grazing land and threaten the livelihood of farmers and ranchers who depend on the land on which they live. The ECP can help to lessen this burden, providing assistance in overcoming exceptional damage from storms and severe drought.

For information about enrolling in ECP because of severe drought or damage to a farm you own or operate please scroll down to the Participant Information section below.

Learn more about other FSA disaster assistance programs.

For the latest news about ECP and other FSA conservation programs, please visit our News Room

For a list of FAQs, visit Ask USDA

Participant Information

Is My Farm Eligible?

The FSA County Committee inspects the damage to determine if land is eligible for ECP. For land to qualify for ECP funds, the damage from the natural disaster or severe drought must create new conservation problems that if not dealt with would:

  • Further damage the land
  • Significantly affect the land’s productive capacity
  • Represent damage from a natural disaster unusual for the area (an exception to this is damage from wind erosion)
  • Be too costly to repair without Federal assistance in order to return the land to agricultural production

Technical assistance to fix the conservation problem may also be provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Conservation problems that existed before the disaster or severe drought are ineligible for ECP assistance.


ECP Monthly Report by Disaster Type

ECP Payments by State/Practice

ECP Payments by State Disaster

How Does the Funding Work?

The funding for ECP is determined by Congress. Up to 75% of the cost to implement emergency conservation practices can be provided; however, the final amount is determined by the committee reviewing the application. Qualified limited resource, underserved, and beginning farmers/ranchers may earn up to 90% cost-share. The FSA County Committee is able to approve applications up to $125,000 while applications of $125,001 to $250,000 require state committee approval. Amounts over $250,000 require the approval of the national FSA office.

Farmers and ranchers should check with their local FSA office to find out about ECP sign-up periods, which are set by the FSA County Committee.