7/25/2013 5:56:00 PM CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM ACRES TO BE OPENED FOR EMERGENCY HAYING AND GRAZING IN SOUTHEASTERN MINNESOTA
USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director (SED) Debra Crusoe announced on July 22 that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in 19 Minnesota counties have been authorized for emergency haying and grazing due to excessive precipitation that caused a severe shortage of forage. Emergency grazing of CRP may begin immediately, while emergency haying of CRP cannot begin until August 2, 2013.
"Additional grazing acres and forage will now be available to help livestock producers get through the severe shortage of forage that exists, particularly in southeastern Minnesota," SED Crusoe said. "This is good news for livestock producers in the region, and comes at a very critical time when many livestock producers are facing the decision whether or not to liquidate their herds." "In conjunction with the recent Secretarial Disaster Declaration for alfalfa winter-kill in the southeastern part of the state that made available USDA-FSA emergency loans, producers now have another option to get relief for their herds," stated Crusoe.
Counties approved for emergency haying and grazing of CRP include: Blue Earth, Carver, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Jackson, Le Sueur, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Scott, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona. These counties experienced significantly higher precipitation from March through June 2013 and sustained a 40 percent or greater loss of available feed as a result of the precipitation.
Emergency haying and grazing of CRP may only be conducted on specific eligible conservation practices, and is limited to 50 percent of the field for haying or 75 percent of the field for grazing. To initiate emergency haying and grazing, producers must contact their local FSA office to apply before any haying or grazing begins. Producers must sign a modified conservation plan to allow haying and grazing. Fields containing or near environmentally sensitive areas may have further restrictions placed on haying and grazing activities. Haying or grazing cannot occur within 120 feet of a stream or other permanent water body, or on acres devoted to trees.
Emergency haying must be completed by August 31, 2013, and the bales removed from CRP by September 15, 2013. Grazing must end by September 30, 2013.