USDA’s Farm Service Agency is modifying its Conservation Reserve Program policies to help farmers and ranchers affected by sustained drought conditions in the states of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The period normally allowed for emergency grazing lasts through September 30th. The new policy will allow farmers and ranchers in those drought stricken states to extend the emergency grazing period to October 31st without an additional payment reduction.
Nationwide – FSA says it will allow producers to utilize harvested hay from expiring CRP acres when those acres are being prepared for fall seeded crops. Prior to this modification – all mechanically harvested hay was required to be destroyed. This change enables livestock producers to feed the hay that is mechanically harvested to their own livestock or to sell or donate hay. Consistent with existing policy – rental payments will be reduced by 25-percent for those utilizing this option. Producers wishing to participate in FSA’s emergency grazing program must first request permission from the FSA county office by indicating the acreage to be grazed.