The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it will allow emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) CP25 acreage in order to provide additional relief to Kansas livestock producers still struggling as the historic drought continues to persist in Kansas.
"As I travel throughout Kansas, I continue to see the devastating impact the ongoing drought is having on producers and communities," Sen. Moran said. "Western Kansas has not experienced relief from the recent rains in other parts of the state, and farmers and ranchers continue to struggle. USDA's decision to allow haying and grazing on CP25 acreage is welcome news and will allow livestock operations to continue across our state in spite of the exceedingly dry conditions."
Multiple years of historic drought have depleted forage supplies and affected the growth of hay and pasture across Kansas. Kansas has more than 840,000 acres currently enrolled in CP25, the majority of which are within the drought region. Many Kansas livestock producers have worked closely with Farm Service Agency (FSA) county directors and utilized CP25 to enhance environmental benefits. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorized this same land to be used for emergency haying and grazing in 2012 and extreme drought conditions have made the authorization necessary again this year.
Emergency haying is authorized for a single period through Aug. 31, 2013. Emergency grazing is authorized for a single period through Sept. 30, 2013. According to FSA, there are currently 66 counties that will qualify for CP25 release. In order to utilize the acreage the producer must file a request with their local FSA office. The request will then be reviewed and, if approved, a 10 percent reduction in the CRP payment will be taken.
In July, Sen. Moran joined U.S. Senator Pat Roberts in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Tom Vilsack, calling for emergency haying and grazing of CRPlands to help livestock producers suffering from sustained and critical drought.