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USDA announces second round of funding for feral swine program in Texas

published: October 2nd 2020

Three new pilot projects areas include Dallam County, Nueces-Bee-San Patricio, and Williamson/Milam

Temple, Texas--USDA is accepting applications from non-federal, not-for-profit partners for projects to help agricultural producers and private landowners trap and control feral swine, which is part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $12 million available and will accept applications through Nov. 5, 2020, in eight priority states – including Texas – during its second round of project funding.
    FSCP is a joint effort between NRCS and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The program was first announced in June 2019, and in the first round of funding, NRCS allocated almost $17 million for 20 pilot projects across 10 states, which included Texas. Those projects will continue through the life of the 2018 Farm Bill in Alabama, Arkansas, Flori-da, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Caro-lina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
    “The 2018 Farm Bill created this new pilot program to enable us to address threats to natural resources and agriculture posed by feral swine,” said Clint Evans, NRCS acting state conservationist in Texas. “This second investment will play a crucial role in getting Texas landowners assistance they need to help reduce the destruction of crops and damage to natural resources on their property.”
    The second round of funding is for partners to carry out activities as part of the three new identified pilot projects in select areas of Texas. They include Dallam County in the northwestern corner of the Texas Panhandle, Nueces County, San Patricio Coun-ty and Bee County in the coastal bend of Texas and Williamson and Milam Counties in central Texas. These new pilot projects and areas were selected in coordination with NRCS state conservationists, APHIS state directors, and state technical committees to address feral swine issues and damage in areas with high densities.
    Pilot projects consist broadly of three coordinated components: 1) feral swine removal by APHIS; 2) restoration efforts supported by NRCS; and 3) assistance to producers for feral swine control provided through partnership agreements with non-federal partners. Projects can be one to three years in duration and are planned to conclude at the end of Fiscal Year 2023 (Sept. 30, 2023).
More Information
    NRCS is now accepting proposals from non-federal, not-for-profit partners to provide landowner assistance for on-farm trapping and related services as part of the pilot projects des-cribed on the FSCP webpage. NRCS will provide funding for these services through partnership agreements. The funding limit for a single award is $1.5 million. NRCS may provide up to 75 percent of the costs for the partnership agreement. The remaining 25 percent must be committed by the partner through cash or in-kind contributions as listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.
    Additional information on specific pilot projects, including target areas and the roles for which partner assistance is being requested, can be found on the FSCP webpage.
    Applications must be submitted through Grants. gov by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 5, 2020. The opportunity number is USDA-NRCS-MULTI-FSCP-20-NOFO0001036.

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