Only one week remains in the nomination period for the 2012 county committee elections, giving farmers and ranchers just a few more days to select themselves or others as candidates to sit on their local county committee and help make important agricultural decisions. Members of the committee deliver FSA farm programs at the local level and make decisions needed to administer the programs in their counties. The nomination period closes August 1.
USDA authorizes emergency haying/grazing of CRP acres in South Dakota
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Craig Schaunaman, today announced that in response to drought conditions, FSA has authorized emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for all South Dakota counties.
“South Dakota producers interested in emergency haying and grazing of CRP must contact their local FSA offices to obtain approval to hay or graze CRP,” said Schaunaman. Any approved emergency haying and grazing of CRP cannot begin until August 2, 2012, which is after the end of the primary nesting and brood rearing season in South Dakota. “Producers will also need to obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that includes haying and grazing requirements,” he said.
Under CRP emergency haying and grazing provisions, haying activity may not exceed August 31, 2012, and grazing activity may not exceed September 30, 2012. The acreage eligible for emergency haying and grazing is limited to those conservation practices eligible under the emergency release of CRP for haying and grazing purposes. Currently there are approximately 532,000 acres of CRP available for emergency haying and grazing in South Dakota. There are an additional 19,000 acres of Conservation Practice 25, Rare and Declining Habitat available for emergency grazing purposes only. Wetland and farmable wetland conservation practices are considered to be environmentally sensitive; therefore, are not eligible for emergency haying and grazing.
On July 11, 2012, Secretary Vilsack announced that the 25 percent CRP payment reduction will be reduced to 10 percent for all 2012 emergency haying and grazing authorizations in order to provide greater flexibility to farmers and ranchers in response to the drought conditions.
Under emergency haying and grazing provisions, producers are reminded that the same CRP acreage cannot be both hayed and/or grazed at the same time. For example, if 50 percent of a field or contiguous field is hayed, the remaining unhayed 50 percent cannot be grazed; it must remain unhayed and ungrazed for wildlife habitat purposes.
In an effort to proactively serve South Dakota farmers and ranchers, the South Dakota Farm Service Agency and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture are encouraging producers to utilize the on-line hay finder services available via and .
For more information and to request approval for emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres contact your local FSA office.