July 30, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla., – July 30, 2012— Francie Tolle, Oklahoma State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that all Oklahoma counties with eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts are eligible for emergency haying and grazing because of the new provisions announced by Secretary Vilsack last week.
"Previously, only counties classified as 'D2 - severe drought' according to the U.S. Drought Monitor were eligible for CRP emergency haying and grazing," said Tolle. "Now lands classified as 'D0 - abnormally dry' are eligible for CRP emergency haying and grazing."
In addition to reducing the 25 percent CRP payment reduction 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.
Oklahoma CRP participants who were previously approved for managed haying or grazing may elect to switch eligible acres to emergency use by contacting their County FSA office to request approval.
Eligible CRP land can be used for emergency haying until August 31, 2012, or emergency grazing until the earlier of the required average minimum residual height is reached or September 30, 2012.
"The added flexibility to CRP haying and grazing provisions provides more relief to producers who are facing an on-going drought which continues to make providing forage for livestock extremely difficult and costly," said Tolle.
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 County FSA office.
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