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USDA authorizes emergency haying and grazing of CRP in county

On July 15, Farm Service Agency (FSA) Director Dan Steinkruger announced that 54 counties in Nebraska were authorized for emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres for 2013 due to drought conditions.

At that time, Thayer County wasn’t included on the list, but a few days later on July 17 the county was added.

“Drought has been ongoing in Thayer County for more than a year and forage losses have impacted livestock producers,” said Jay VanWesten, FSA County Executive Director.

In the middle of July last year, the USDA allowed emergency haying and grazing as well.

“In 2012, USDA opened CRP acres for emergency haying and grazing and many Thayer County producers took advantage of this option to provide forage for their livestock,” VanWesten said.

Although many of the limitations and requirements of emergency haying and grazing were waived in 2012, the same does not apply this year. For 2013, there will be a 25 percent reduction in the annual rental payments and no haying or grazing will be allowed on practice CP25 (rare and declining habitat). Along with these restrictions, CRP participants cannot sell the hay.  However, if the participant is not a livestock producer they may rent or lease the haying or grazing privilege to an eligible livestock producer.

“Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP must request approval before haying or grazing eligible acreage,” said VanWesten.  “Producers must also obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that outlines permitted practices.”

The authorization for 2013 began July 18 for both emergency haying and emergency grazing, which coincides with the end of the primary nesting and brood rearing season in Nebraska.

For more information about the emergency haying and grazing of CRP, contact the Thayer County FSA office or go to www.fsa.usda.gov/ne.

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