The following conditions must be met and understood to perform these operations:
A request must be filed at the local county Farm Service Agency office indicating acreage to be hayed or grazed before the activity begins.
Hay and graze operations can only be performed on established standard native or tame grass plantings and is not authorized on waterways, filter strips, wildlife habitat buffers, or other environmental priority practices.
They must be conducted from July 16 through Aug. 15 for haying operations and during a period from July 15 to Nov. 12 for grazing under the requirements and guidance of a forage management plan composed by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).
Hay production must be removed within 30 days from the final date to hay acreage or Sept. 15. Livestock must be removed from grazed fields by completion of required grazing period.
Acreage may be approved for the managed provision only one out of every three years or one year within a five-year period, including those years emergency provisions would be authorized, depending on when the specific contract acreage was approved in the CRP.
Hayed or grazed privileges may be rented or leased to others.
A prescribed burn cannot be performed in the same year that haying or grazing occurs.
Producers who choose to hay or graze any CRP acreage will be assessed an annual rental payment reduction calculated at 25 percent of the particular contract rental rate for the number of acres hayed or grazed.
Any damage or failure of the CRP practice’s vegetative cover as a result of the hay or graze operation will be the liability of the contract producer(s) and must be re-established according to the standards of the conservation plan.
Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office.