Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, is pleased to announce a two-month extension for emergency grazing on land designated as Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres. This is a positive step forward in the ongoing effort to relieve the pressure in the midst of this year's historic drought.
"Our fight here in Missouri has reached competent and caring ears in Washington," said U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II." Still, we have many challenges ahead as we continue torebuild from last year's flood and face this disasterous drought."
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the extension as part of the Obama Administration and the Department of Agriculture's commitment to the thousands of families and businesses affected by drought.
On August 23, 2012, Congressman Cleaver, along with six other members of Missouri's Congressional Delegation, sent a letter to the Farm Bureau Administrator Bruce Nelson requesting this 60-day extension for emergency grazing in Missouri.
"While we have seen a little cooler weather lately, these oppressive conditions are expected tocontinue," said Congressman Cleaver. "And I will continue, as well, monitoring the situation and working on behalf of all constituents to make sure when help is needed, it is there."
The full text of the letter is below.
August 23, 2012
As you know, the state of Missouri is experiencing a severe drought which has placed an enormous stress on livestock production operations. Our offices have been contacted by producers inquiring about the potential extension of the emergency release of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands for livestock grazing past the September 30th deadline.
With the state in the midst of a historic drought, livestock producers need more time for grazing to ensure that they can get through the Winter months. According to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Missouri leads the nation in very poor to poor ratings for pastures with 98% of pastures falling within these two categories. This number is obviously very concerning to us and certainly precipitates a need for an extension of the September 30th deadline.
We, respectfully, request that the Farm Service Agency grant the state of Missouri a 60 day extension for emergency grazing on CRP lands. Last year, this extension was granted to some areas of the Southwest due to drought conditions. We understand that your Agency may already be considering an extension. However, we ask that you act immediately on granting an extension in order to give producers the necessary certainty to plan for the months ahead.
Thank you for taking our request into consideration. Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions or require additional information.
Rep. Sam Graves
Rep. Blaine Luektemeyer
Rep. Billy Long
Rep. Vicky Hartzler
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II
Rep. Russ Carnahan
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson