In response to the current drought conditions, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has authorized emergency grazing and haying beginning August 2, 2012, on eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for counties designated as abnormally dry or worse according to the US Drought Monitor.
The emergency haying authorization for eligible Wisconsin counties becomes effective August 2, 2012, and ends August 31, 2012. The emergency grazing authorization becomes effective August 2, 2012, and ends September 30, 2012. Producers must request and receive approval from the Marathon County Farm Service Agency before haying or grazing CRP.
The counties that will be eligible for emergency haying and grazing as of August 2 are in addition to the 12 counties that have received approval to begin grazing CRP acres immediately.
"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP must request approval from the FSA County Offices before haying or grazing eligible acreage," said Matthew Peplinski, Marathon County Executive Director. "It is required for producers to obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that includes haying and grazing requirements," he said.
To determine if a county falls under the eligible D0 or higher drought designation, producers can visit the U.S. Drought Monitor site at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu or contact your local USDA Service Center.
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 during difficult times.
For more information and to request approval for emergency grazing of CRP acres contact the Marathon County FSA at 715-848-2330 or visit the Farm Service Agency website: www.fsa.usda.gov.