USDA allows emergency haying, grazing on conservation reserve program acres in Shelby County

SIDNEY – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director Annette Purkey has announced that Shelby County is authorized for emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres outside of the Primary Nesting Season. Emergency haying is permitted through Aug. 31. Emergency grazing is permitted through Sept. 30.

“Producers who are interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres must request FSA county office approval before starting any haying and grazing activities,” said Purkey. “The request must include a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service with haying and grazing provisions.”

At least 50 percent of each field or contiguous CRP fields must be left unhayed for wildlife. At least 25 percent of each field or contiguous CRP fields must be left ungrazed for wildlife, or graze not more than 75 percent of the stocking rate as determined by NRCS. Grass waterways, filter strips and habitat buffers for upland birds practices are ineligible for the emergency haying or grazing authorization.

Producers can use the CRP acreage under the emergency grazing provisions for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. The eligible CRP acreage is limited to acres located within the approved county. There will be no CRP annual rental payment reduction for 2019 emergency haying and grazing authorizations.

Under the emergency haying and grazing provisions, CRP acreage cannot be hayed and/or grazed at the same time. Participants are limited to one hay cutting and are not permitted to sell any of the hay. All hay bales must be removed within 15 days of the end of the haying period and all livestock must be removed from the CRP acreage no more than 1 day after the end of the grazing period.

For more information or to request approval for emergency haying or grazing use of CRP acres, contact the Shelby County FSA office at 937-492-6520.