WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S Department of Agriculture on Wednesday authorized ag producers to request haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in 79 Minnesota counties, including Lyon, Lincoln, Pipestone, Murray and Yellow Medicine. U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced the emergency haying and grazing because of the drought conditions in the upper Midwest on a county-by-county basis when a county is designated as level “D2 Drought — Severe” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
“The droughts across Minnesota have created incredibly difficult conditions for farmers and livestock producers,” Klobuchar said “This announcement is a step in the right direction as we work to ensure the USDA’s policies meet the needs of Minnesota’s rural communities.”
“The severe drought in Minnesota is devastating for our cattle producers, who are running out of hay to feed their herds,” Smith said.
“I am glad the USDA has authorized emergency haying and grazing of CRP land.”
Producers interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres must notify their FSA county office before starting any activities. This includes producers accessing CRP acres held by someone else. To maintain contract compliance, producers must have their conservation plan modified by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).