Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces that farmers and ranchers will receive approximately $71 million in Emergency Conservation Program funds to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters that happened in 2008 and 2009.

The money will be used to remove farmland debris; restore fences; grade and shape land; repair conservation structures that were damaged by flood, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms and wildfires; and carry out emergency water conservation measures after severe drought.

For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must have created conservation problems that, if un-treated, would: impair or endanger the land; materially affect the land's productive capacity; represent unusual damage that, except for wind erosion, is not likely to recur frequently in the same area; and be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.

For eligibility requirements, as well as applications, producers may visit their FSA county office or go to http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.