CHARLESTON — West Virginia livestock farmers impacted by recent drought conditions may be eligible to apply for cost-share funding to help them purchase water tanks and fittings needed to provide their animals with water.

Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency last week because of the prolonged shortage of rainfall in all 55 counties. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly all areas in the southern half of West Virginia fall in a moderate or severe drought designation. The northern half of the state is mostly considered “abnormally dry.”

The State Conservation Committee on Monday approved the emergency program. It will provide 50 percent of the total cost of water tanks and necessary fittings, with a maximum reimbursement of $400 per farmer, based on receipts.

Retroactive purchases of water tanks and fittings dating back to Sept. 1, 2019, will be eligible for reimbursement if the farmer provides receipts and documentation.

The tanks may be filled with water from various sources and are to be used solely for the purpose of supplying livestock with drinking water.

The life span of the program is five years, meaning a cooperator who receives a reimbursement for water tanks and fittings cannot apply again for another five years.

Interested farmers should contact their local conservation district to participate in the emergency program.

Regional conservation districts include:

Greenbrier, Monroe and Pocahontas counties, the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District. Phone is (304) 645-6173 and email is GVCD@wvca.us.

Fayette, McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties, the Southern Conservation District. Phone is (304) 253-0261 and email is SCD@wvca.us.

 

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