The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this chapter as the "Secretary") is authorized to make payments to agricultural producers who carry out emergency measures to control wind erosion on farmlands or to rehabilitate farmlands damaged by wind erosion, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, or other natural disasters when, as a result of the foregoing, new conservation problems have been created that (1) if not treated, will impair or endanger the land, (2) materially affect the productive capacity of the land, (3) represent damage that is unusual in character and, except for wind erosion, is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area, and (4) will be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.
With respect to a payment to an agricultural producer under subsection (a) for the repair or replacement of fencing, the Secretary shall give the agricultural producer the option of receiving not more than 25 percent of the payment, determined by the Secretary based on the applicable percentage of the fair market value of the cost of the repair or replacement, before the agricultural producer carries out the repair or replacement.
If the funds provided under paragraph (1) are not expended by the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date on which the agricultural producer receives those funds, the funds shall be returned within a reasonable timeframe, as determined by the Secretary.
(Pub. L. 95–334, title IV, §401, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 433; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2403(a)(1), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4571.)
2018—Pub. L. 115–334 inserted section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, substituted "The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this chapter as the 'Secretary')" for "The Secretary of Agriculture", inserted "wildfires," after "hurricanes,", and added subsec. (b).
Pub. L. 95–334, title IV, §406, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 434, provided that: "The provisions of this title [enacting this chapter] shall become effective October 1, 1978."