Farmers and ranchers affected by drought can now request haying and grazing permission on Conservation Reserve Program acres in 78 Minnesota counties, while still receiving their full rental payment for the land.
“Drought is heavily impacting livestock producers in Minnesota and across the country, and emergency haying or grazing of lands enrolled in CRP is one more drought mitigation tool to help producers,” says Zach Ducheneaux, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency. “While CRP makes annual rental payments for land in conservation, under certain circumstances, FSA can allow the haying and grazing of these lands to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters without a reduction in payments. As part of our climate-smart agriculture efforts, we are working with all stakeholder groups to ensure that supplemental benefits of CRP acres, like emergency haying and grazing, can be accessed in a manner that is more universally beneficial.”
Outside of the primary nesting season, emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres may be authorized to provide relief to livestock producers in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disaster. The primary nesting season for Minnesota ended Aug. 1. Counties are approved for emergency haying and grazing due to drought conditions on a county-by-county basis, when a county is designated as level D2 Drought-Severe, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. FSA provides a weekly online update of eligible counties.
CRP haying, grazing specifics
Producers can use the CRP acreage under the emergency grazing provisions for their livestock, or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage.
Producers interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres must notify their FSA county office before starting any activities. This includes producers accessing CRP acres held by someone else. To maintain contract compliance, producers must have their conservation plan modified by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
CRP emergency haying is available as long as the stand is in condition to support such activity. Hay can be cut once between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, and it must be removed within 15 calendar days of being baled.
CRP emergency grazing is available as long as it does not exceed 90 days between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30. It must be stopped when the minimum grazing height is reached, as established within the CRP conservation plan, or the county is no longer eligible for emergency haying and grazing.
Source: USDA Farm Service Agency, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all of its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.