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Farmers will get help with hay loss

Partial reimbursements for hay up to $50 per ton and a cost share of up to 50 percent for connecting farms to public water sources are available, said Peggy Reynolds, administrative assistant with the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Saturday, October 02, 1999

Partial reimbursements for hay up to $50 per ton and a cost share of up to 50 percent for connecting farms to public water sources are available, said Peggy Reynolds, administrative assistant with the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The state announced the hay purchasing and tap fee assistance last week, but released few details except to say local soil and water districts would serve as contact agencies.

The money – $4 million for the hay cost-share program and $1 million for tap assistance, statewide – was procured by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Gov. Bob Taft’s office in response to this summer’s lack of rain, which scorched hay fields and reduced cattle production.

Funds in each county will be distributed under Ohio Department of Agriculture and other agencies’ guidelines, and is being coordinated with USDA’s Emergency Conservation Program, ODNR officials said.

In an emergency resolution, the State Controlling Board released those funds Sept. 27, officials said.

Residents eligible for the dollars are farmers who produce forage-consuming livestock for food consumption and who are located in one of the state’s 87 counties declared disaster areas, Mrs. Reynolds said.

And only farmers are eligible for tap fee money, she said.

Preliminary details of both state assistance programs include:

HAY PURCHASING

– Farmers may be reimbursed up to $50 per ton for hay or other forage bought since July 1, but farmers must have a bill of sale.

– The per-producer cap on dollar assistance is $100 per cow/calf pair, up to a $2,500 maximum per producer.

– Hay assistance application forms will be available by Oct. 12, with a return deadline of Nov. 1.

– The application includes the farmer’s estimated losses and permission for the state to audit the information. The ODNR and the ODA will meet and evaluate all requests.

– Funding will come the first week of November, with checks sent to each county for distribution. The state’s goal is to have most of the checks available by Thanksgiving.

TAP FEE COST SHARE

– ODA will try to transfer funds to supplement by 20 percent to 25 percent the Farm Service Agency emergency dollars granted earlier this summer.

– The state will share up to 50 percent of connection costs to a public water line if that is the most cost effective measure of getting water to a farm.