The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association has just announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow emergency haying and grazing on CRP and other conservation land in much of the state.
Here’s what the association says in an electronic news release:
- Most CRP, WRP and EQIP lands in Minnesota are eligible
- There are still some prohibitions on haying and grazing of certain parcels of CRP, namely CP-23 (Wetland Restorations). You are encouraged to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and encourage them to pressure USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to open up these acres, as other wetland acres (WRP) are already included.
- At this time, it does not appear that state Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) easement lands (CREP, WREP, RIM) are open. You are encouraged to contact Governor Dayton’s Office to encourage the state to match suit and agree to open up these acres.
- The haying and grazing rental payment penalty has been reduced from 25% to 10%.
- If you are a contract holder of CRP, WRP, or EQIP, you should immediately contact your county FSA/NRCS office and let them know if you are interested in haying and grazing those acres.
- If you identify any parcels owned by others that you would like to hay and/or graze, you are encouraged to contact the landowner and see if they are interested in working with you. If they are interested, you should have both parties contact the county FSA/NRCS office and let them know you are interested in haying and/or grazing.
- If you do not know who owns a certain parcel of conservation land, you should inform the county FSA/NRCS office that you would be interested in haying and/or grazing those parcels, and the county office may conduct outreach to those landowners to gauge their interest in working with you.
- There are several disaster programs authorized in the current Farm Bill (Livestock Forage Program, Livestock Indemnity Program). While these programs currently have no funding, producers are encouraged to keep detailed records of losses and costs of supplemental feeding, as you may be eligible for assistance when the current Farm Bill is re-authorized, and/or dollars are appropriated to the USDA through the Ag Appropriations Bill.