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Open Wetland Acres

N.D. Ag Secretary urges USDA to permit CP23 land to be grazed, too.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson is urging federal government to include CP23 acreage in the opening of Conservation Reserve Program acres to grazing in North Dakota.

CP23 acreage is land set aside under the CRP program for wetlands restoration.

"The CP23 CRP practice generally yields the best forage value in drought conditions," Johnson said in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer. "CP23 is also difficult to isolate from other CRP acreage, particularly when fencing CRP for grazing purposes."

Johnson thanked Schafer for opening CRP to emergency grazing in counties that experienced extreme drought this past spring.

"We request that the emergency grazing guidelines be reconsidered and include CP23 CRP acreage in the approved counties," he said. "I also request that CP23 acreage be included in the critical feed use program, which begins following the primary nesting season."

The critical feed use program enables CRP participants with certain established vegetative cover to voluntarily have their CRP contract modified to allow haying or grazing after the end of the primary nesting season. Some of the eligible land must be reserved for wildlife and a conservation plan must be in place for the land. The land is subject to a site inspection to ensure compliance with the conservation plan. There is no rental payment reduction, but a $75 fee is charged to process the required contract modification.

Source: ND Department of Agriculture

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