In response to the continuing drought conditions, Wisconsin Farm Service Agency (FSA) has authorized additional practices to qualify for the emergency grazing and haying for counties designated as abnormally dry or worse according to the US Drought Monitor.
The original announcement opened 214,000 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for emergency grazing and haying; with the additional eligible practices another 26,000 acres are now eligible. This brings the total eligible acres for emergency haying and grazing to 240,000 out of the state’s 369,000 total CRP acres. The additional practices include:
• Grass Waterways, Noneasement (CP8A)
• Wetland Restoration (CP23 and CP23A)
• Rare and Declining Habitat (Non State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Practice - SAFE)
"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP must request approval from the FSA County Office before haying or grazing eligible acreage," said Matthew Peplinski, County Executive Director for Marathon County FSA. "Producers must obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that includes haying and grazing requirements," he said.
The emergency haying authorization for eligible Wisconsin counties became effective August 2, 2012, and ends August 31, 2012. The emergency grazing authorization became effective August 2, 2012, and ends September 30, 2012. CRP payment reduction will be reduced from 25 percent to 10 percent for all 2012 emergency haying and grazing authorizations to provide greater flexibility to farmers and ranchers during difficult times.
For more information and to request approval for emergency grazing of CRP acres, please visit Marathon County FSA office, 326 River Drive, Wausau, WI or call 715-848-2330 or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov.