Acres opened for emergency grazing in MinnesotaPublished 6:11am Sunday, August 5, 2012
Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Linda Hennen has announced that additional Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, acres have been authorized for emergency haying and grazing in Minnesota due to prevailing drought conditions.
The Minnesota FSA State Committee approved emergency haying and grazing of otherwise ineligible CRP conservation practices. The expanded authorization includes the following practices:
• CP8A: Grass Waterway-noneasement
• CP23 and CP23A: Wetland Restorations
• CP25: Rare and Declining Habitat
• CP27 and CP28: Farmable Wetlands Pilot Wetland and Buffer
• CP37: Duck Nesting Habitat
• CP41: FWP Flooded Prairie Wetlands.
“Minnesota has over 500,000 additional acres of CRP that will now be available for haying and grazing to help livestock producers get through the severe drought conditions,” Hennen said “This temporary modification of long-standing policy is very good news for livestock producers nationwide, and comes at a very critical time. It adds to other federal and state efforts to open conservation lands for grazing and haying to help relieve the devastation of the drought.”
Emergency haying and grazing of CRP is now open in 71 of the 87 Minnesota counties where the severity of the drought has at least reached the “D0” level, or abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor as of July 19 or later. To initiate emergency haying and grazing of CRP, producers must first contact their local FSA office to apply. Albert Lea’s Farm Service Agency can be reached at 373-7960.
Producers must sign a modified conservation plan to allow haying and grazing. No more than 50 percent of a CRP field may be hayed, and haying must be completed by Aug. 31. No more than 75 percent of a field may be grazed, and the grazing must end by Sept. 30. Haying or grazing cannot occur within 120 feet of a stream or other permanent water body, or on acres devoted to trees.
For more information, contact the Minnesota FSA State Office at 651-602-7702.