Marion County is one of 66 Kansas counties approved Friday for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acreage starting July 15, when the primary nesting and brood-rearing season concludes.
The Kansas Farm Service Agency State Committee used its authority with the D2 Severe drought designations on the U.S. Drought Monitor Map to authorize the action.
?This authorization provides relief for many Kansas livestock producers who have suffered through severe drought conditions,? said Adrian J. Polansky, executive director of Kansas FSA.
?The drought has depleted hay supplies and affected the growth of hay and pasture in parts of Kansas,? he added. ?Many livestock producers cannot maintain their current herds without implementation of CRP emergency haying and grazing.?
The FSA State Committee determined that all 2013 emergency haying and grazing activities will be limited to specific acreage that was not used for haying or grazing in 2011 and 2012 because of multiple years of drought and concerns for long-term negative impacts to the sustainability of the grass. This includes all prior 2011 or 2012 grazing or haying activity under emergency or managed practices.
An exception is available in areas where adequate moisture conditions have permitted sufficient cover growth and vigor that justifies future use as determined on a county or area basis. Local officials will be making the initial exception decision by July 16.
Current CRP enrollment in Kansas is 2.3 million acres. The haying and grazing acreage used in 2011 and 2012, plus ineligible continuous CRP acreage, totals 950,000 acres. This leaves a balance of more than 1.3 million CRP acres to be used for haying and grazing in 2013 in addition to the acreage meeting the adequate moisture exception described above.
Emergency haying in approved counties is allowed through Aug. 15. For the sake of wildlife, participants must leave at least 50 percent of each field or contiguous CRP field unused for haying or grazing.
Hay must be removed from the field within 30 days from the end of the haying period. Hay cannot be sold.
Producers without livestock may rent or lease the haying privileges.
Emergency grazing in approved counties is allowed through Sept. 30. The grazing timeframe begins when the individual request is approved. All livestock must be removed at the end of the grazing period or when the minimum average height of the grass reaches 5 inches.
Producers without livestock may rent or lease the grazing privileges.
To request emergency haying or grazing, CRP participants in approved counties should contact the county FSA office to request an individual contract prior to haying or grazing.
Participants will work with the Natural Resource Conserva?tion Service to develop a forage management plan. If the CRP cover is destroyed, the practice must be re-established at participants? own expense to remain in compliance with the CRP contract.
Participants must also accept a 25 percent reduction in the annual rental payment for the acres actually hayed or grazed.
CRP haying and grazing policies are available online at fsa.usda.gov/ks.