Verla Stucker, who works in the Farm Service Agency office handling Boyle and Mercer counties, said the agency already has received several hundred applications.
Farmers can apply for two different kinds of cost sharing through the FSA.
For debris cleanup, individuals must indicate where debris is located on aerial maps of their property at their county FSA office. During the cleanup process, farmers will be required to keep detailed records of the specific hours of labor and methods used for cleanup.
Assistance for fence repair is only for permanent fences used specifically to keep livestock in or out and only for sections that can be removed and repaired, as opposed to an entire fence line. Farmers sign a 10-year maintenance agreement that guarantees that they plan on upkeep of the fence for that period of time.
Boyle County Cooperative Extension Agent Jerry Little said there is a great need for help in both areas.
"A lot of the trees you see down on farms fell along fence rows," he said. "It is taking a lot of time to get those things taken care of."
Allen Goggin, a Boyle County farmer, has had to deal with most of the problems that resulted from the storm and plans to sign up for the FSA program.
Creeks that run into the Salt River have been snarled by trees, which could cause flooding. Fences that keep cattle from roaming into wheat fields are down and have had to be patched with temporary fencing.
Goggin, who raises cattle and grows tobacco and corn on about 800 acres, expects that it will take at least six months and possibly more to get everything cleared and repaired.
With the planting and hay-cutting seasons fast approaching, it is imperative to pick up some large brush. Beyond that, Goggin said he already has had to make some tough choices.
"We would usually be spending most of our time working cattle right now and getting ready to plant at this time of year," he said. "When it's time to start with tobacco and corn, we will have to make decisions about what to leave on the ground. We have already had to start prioritizing."
Goggin, a life-long farmer, said dealing with natural disasters is a part of farming, but usually not one that is so widespread.
"We have lost barns or roofs of barns to tornadoes over the years and we have had ice storms, but there has never been a disaster that affected the whole operation this much."
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SO YOU KNOW
The sign-up deadline for either debris cleanup or fence repair for livestock farms is April 13.
Farm Service Agency office locations and phone numbers are:
Boyle and Mercer counties: 225 Morris Drive, Harrodsburg, (859) 734-4326 or 1-888-758-6777.
Garrard and Lincoln counties: 102 Metker Trail, Suite 1, in Stanford, 1-888-758-6910.
Casey County: 28 Liberty Square Center, Liberty, (606) 787-6581.