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USDA Announces New Conservation Reserve Program Emergency Haying and Grazing Provisions

Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

Many Texas counties, including Lubbock, are eligible for an emergency program due to new eligibility requirements.

229 Texas Counties are eligible for Conservation Reserve Program emergency haying and grazing, due to new provisions announced last week.

Prior to the new provisions, only lands classified as “D2- under severe drought” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor were eligible for CRP emergency haying and grazing. Now lands classified as “D0 – abnormally dry” will be eligible for emergency haying and grazing.

The 25 percent CRP payment reduction was reduced to 10 percent for all 2012 emergency haying and grazing authorizations, and participants can sell the harvested hay or lease grazing privileges for profit under the new emergency provisions. No subleasing of the grazing privileges is permitted.

CRP emergency haying and grazing approval will only be available for those CRP lands that were not used for haying or grazing in the past 12 months. Eligible CRP land can be used for emergency haying until August 31st or emergency grazing until September 30th of this year.

“This added flexibility to CRP provides more relief to producers who are facing an on-going drought that makes providing forage for livestock even more difficult,” said Cary Hanlin, Lubbock County USDA Farm Service Agency executive director.

CRP participants who were previously approved for managed haying or grazing may elect to switch to emergency use by contacting the Lubbock County FSA.

For more information, contact the Lubbock County FSA Office at 785-5644, extension 2.

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