Drought-stricken livestock producers to get some emergency grazing relief


WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has enacted a measure to provide livestock in drought-affected states with needed additional hay and forage.
Expansion. Conservation Reserve Program acreage eligible for emergency haying and grazing in Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee has been expanded to include land in an area radiating 210 miles out from all counties previously approved for emergency haying and grazing.
Conservation Reserve Program is a voluntary program that offers annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term resource-conserving cover on eligible land.
The expansion permits approved program participants to cut hay or graze livestock on Conservation Reserve Program acreage, providing supplemental forage to producers whose pastures have been negatively affected by drought.
Approval. To be approved for emergency haying or grazing, a county must be listed as a level “D3 Drought – Extreme” or greater according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html, or have suffered at least a 40 percent loss of normal moisture and forage for the preceding four-month qualifying period.
Only livestock operations located within approved counties are eligible for emergency haying or grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acreage. 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.
Producers with Conservation Reserve Program acreage that is hayed or grazed will be assessed a 10 percent reduction in their annual rental payment.
More information. Maps relating to this announcement and more information on emergency haying and grazing are available at local FSA offices and online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr&topic=crp-eg.


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