An important management tool is available to Conservation Reserve Program contract holders that allows haying activities to be performed on certain types of contract acreages.
Specific regulations govern when, where and how these actions can take place and are explained as follows:
? Haying may only be done on permanently established stands of warm season native or cool season introduced grasses and is not permitted on environmentally sensitive practices such as waterways and wildlife habitat buffers.
? All requests must be filed at the local county Farm Service Agency office indicating fields to be hayed before the operation begins. No more than 50 percent of each field can be hayed.
? Producers are to obtain and obey the requirements of a Forage Management Plan composed by the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
? Haying privileges granted to CRP participants may be rented or leased to others.
? Haying activities are to be conducted from July 16 through Aug. 15 only.
? Hay harvested must be removed from the field site by no later than Sept. 30, and may not be stored on any CRP acreage.
Those CRP contracts approved for haying will be assessed an annual rental payment reduction calculated at 25 percent of the contract rental rate taken times the actual number of acres hayed.
Any damage or failure of the CRP practice?s vegetative cover as a result of the hay activity will be the liability of the contract producers and must be re-established to the satisfaction of the conservation plan standards.
DESTRUCTION OF CROPS
Producers are reminded to notify Farm Service Agency of any destruction of their crops that may have been affected by weather conditions such as excessive heat, drought or other natural disaster peril, and the crop could not be re-planted.
Producers should file their reports with the county FSA office describing the cause of loss and what use they will make of the crop.
Producers who have crop insurance and have already notified their crop insurance agent of any loss will still need to contact FSA to ensure planting history is protected.
Producers who have already reported planted crops such as corn, soybeans or sorghum and intend to destroy the crop, need to report to FSA the number of acres that will be destroyed within 15 calendar days of the disaster occurrence and before disposition of the crop.
Appraisals will not be made by FSA and the only benefit will be a protection of acreage history credit.
For more information, contact the Marion County FSA office at 620-382-3714.
Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office.