July 21, 2006
July 21, 2006 - Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner announced the expansion of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage eligible for emergency haying and grazing for livestock producers in counties approved for haying and grazing in the states of Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Conner also announced that producers' CRP rental payment will be reduced by only 10 percent instead of the standard 25 percent on CRP lands that are grazed in 2006.
"Drought conditions have created serious hardships for many farmers and ranchers in the Great Plains and other areas across the country," said Conner. "Today, I'm pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding the CRP acreage open for emergency practices, such as haying and grazing, to provide relief for producers at a time when it is very much needed."
The expansion will allow livestock producers from eligible counties to obtain needed hay or forage. The expanded area radiates 150 miles out from any county approved for emergency haying and grazing in the qualifying states. A map of counties approved for emergency haying and grazing with the 150-mile radius is located at: http:www.fsa.usda.gov/dafp/cepd/haying_grazing_status_7_19a.pdf
CRP is a voluntary program that offers annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term resource-conserving cover on eligible land. This action will permit approved CRP participants to cut hay or graze livestock on CRP acreage, providing supplemental forage to producers whose pastures have been adversely affected by drought.
Only livestock operations located within approved counties are eligible for emergency haying or grazing of CRP acreage. CRP participants who do not own or lease livestock may rent or lease the grazing privilege to an eligible livestock farmer located in an approved county.
More information on emergency haying and grazing is available at local Farm Service Agency offices and online at: www.fsa.usda.gov.