CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura encourages California farmers and ranchers to apply for federal drought assistance through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Approximately $2 million in funding is available to assist California’s agricultural industry in protecting soil and air quality in areas of fallowed fields, keep orchards alive and protect natural resources on ranch and pasture land.

“We are experiencing our third consecutive drought year with direct impacts to employment and farm acreage,” said Kawamura. “I encourage farmers and ranchers hit hardest by drought conditions to apply for this federal drought assistance by the May 8 deadline.”

Practices being funded through the program include establishing vegetative cover, soil surface roughening, incorporation of soil-stabilizing organic matter, silt fencing adjacent to highways, irrigation water management, pruning to keep trees alive, livestock watering facilities, maintaining standing stubble and more.

Then $2 million is being made available in the following counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

For more information on the drought assistance programs visit www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov or contact your local NRCS office listed in the government section of the phone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture.