Additional temporary assistance is being offered to livestock producers through the USDA-Farm Service Agency’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Producers in specific counties in 10 states are already eligible to apply for emergency haying and grazing. But severe drought in parts of the country and winterkill-related problems elsewhere are causing additional feed shortages, requiring additional help.

"State FSA offices are authorized, under limited conditions, to expand opportunities for haying and grazing on certain additional lands enrolled in CRP," says Juan Garcia, FSA administrator.

"This local approach provides both the appropriate flexibility and ability to tailor safeguards specific to regional conditions. States must adhere to specific guidelines to ensure that additional haying and grazing still maintains the important environmental and wildlife benefits of CRP.”

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In addition, the reduction to the CRP annual rental payment related to emergency haying or grazing will move from 25% to 10%. The sale of hay from CRP acres will also be allowed under certain conditions.

A map on the FSA website shows emergency hay and grazing on CRP ground already approved for more than 400 counties in California, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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