USDA OFFERS MORE FLEXIBILITY FOR CRP EMERGENCY HAYING AND GRAZING – 66 ALABAMA COUNTIES MEET ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
USDA Alabama Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Daniel Robinson announced Aug. 1 that 66 Alabama counties are eligible for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres because of the new provisions announced by Secretary Vilsack July 23.
“Previously, only lands classified as ‘D2 – under severe drought’ according to the U.S. Drought Monitor were eligible for CRP emergency haying and grazing,” said Robinson. “Now, lands classified as ‘D0 – abnormally dry’ will be eligible for CRP emergency haying and grazing,” he said.
All Alabama counties, with the exception of Mobile, are eligible for CRP emergency haying and grazing.
In addition to the 25 percent CRP payment reduction being reduced to 10 percent for all 2012 emergency haying and grazing authorizations, participants may now sell the harvested hay or lease grazing privileges for profit under the new emergency provisions. However, subleasing of the grazing privileges will not be permitted.
Eligible CRP land can be used for emergency haying until Aug. 31, or emergency grazing until Sept. 30.
"The added flexibility to CRP provides more relief to producers who are facing an on-going drought that makes providing forage for livestock even more difficult," said Robinson.
The eligible CRP acreage is limited to qualified acres located within the approved county. Eligible producers who are interested in haying or grazing CRP under this emergency authorization and current CRP participants who choose to provide land for haying or grazing to an eligible livestock producer, must first request approval from their local FSA office and obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to include site specific haying or grazing requirements.
In counties that are authorized for CRP emergency haying and grazing, producers are reminded that the same CRP acreage cannot be both hayed and/or grazed at the same time. For example, if 50 percent of a field or contiguous field is hayed, the remaining unhayed 50 percent cannot be grazed; it must remain unhayed and ungrazed for wildlife. In addition, participants are limited to one hay cutting.
For more information and to request approval for emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres, contact your local FSA office.