Derryl McLaren, state executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Iowa, sent out a press release on August 22 explaining the rules regarding USDA's decision to allow emergency haying and grazing in certain Minnesota counties and how that affects almost two-thirds of the counties in Iowa.
USDA on Aug. 22 announced that drought-stricken livestock producers in approved Minnesota counties who need additional hay and forage are eligible to harvest or graze Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, acreage in their respective counties. Also, they can harvest or graze CRP acres in an area radiating 210 miles out from their counties in Minnesota.
In Iowa, the 210 mile radius or expanded area covers the following listed 61 counties. Managed haying and grazing fees will be reduced from 25% to 10% in these counties, if all eligibility requirements are met.
The 61 counties where emergency haying and grazing are allowed in Iowa are: Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Wnnebago, Worth, Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Sioux, O'Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Chickasaw, Plymouth, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Wright, Franklin, Butler, Bremer, Fayette, Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Calhoun, Webster, Hamilton, Hardin, Grundy, Black Hawk, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Greene, Boone, Story, Marshall, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Guthrie, Dallas, Polk, West Pottawattamie, East Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair, Madison, Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Fremont, Page.
Iowans able to lease out privilege, too
CRP participants in Iowa who do not own or lease livestock may rent or lease the haying or grazing privilege to an eligible livestock farmer located in any approved county in Minnesota. CRP participants requesting emergency haying and grazing must file a request at their county FSA office indicating the acreage to be hayed or grazed before the activity begins.
Iowa producers who are haying and grazing CRP acres within the 210 mile radius (61 Iowa counties), will also be assessed a 10% CRP rental payment reduction. Iowa producers outside the 61 county expanded area will be assessed a 25% rental payment reduction on their CRP acres.
To be approved for emergency haying or grazing, a county must be listed as a level "D3 Drought-Extreme" or greater according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html, or have suffered at least a 40% loss of normal moisture and forage for the preceding four-month qualifying period. FSA state committees may authorize emergency haying or grazing of CRP land in counties currently listed as level D3 Drought Extreme.
Know FSA rules before you graze CRP
Managed haying and grazing of CRP is authorized no more frequently than one out of every three years after the CRP cover is fully established. Managed haying and grazing may be available less frequently in a particular area depending upon local conditions, resource capacity, and the conservation goals of the program.
CRP participants in the 61 Iowa counties requesting managed haying and grazing, must file a request at their local FSA office indicating the acreage to be hayed or grazed before the activity begins. In addition, these participants requesting managed haying and grazing are assessed a 10% payment reduction.
The map which indicates the approved Minnesota counties and the 61 Iowa counties within the 210 mile radius or expanded area can be viewed at www.link-line.com. The map can also be found at the following website: www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr&topic=crp-eg
For additional information on haying and grazing of CRP, contact the staff at the nearest county FSA office
Farm Service Agency is an equal opportunity employer and lender. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to: Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250