USDA Authorizes Emergency Haying of CRP Acres for Minnesota Counties
Date Modified: 09/25/2012 10:55 AM
ST. PAUL – The USDA Farm Service Agency has authorized emergency haying use of Conservation Reserve Program acres for 70 Minnesota counties in response to drought conditions.
The haying authorization becomes effective Aug. 2, after the primary nesting season closes and ends Aug. 31.
"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying of CRP must request approval before haying eligible acreage," said FSA state executive director Linda Hennen. "It is also important for producers to obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes haying requirements."
Upon approval of emergency haying, producers must leave at least 50 percent of each field or contiguous field unhayed for wildlife. For those counties that are eligible for emergency haying and grazing, the same CRP acreage cannot be both hayed and/or grazed at the same time. For example, if 50 percent of a field or contiguous field is hayed, the remaining unhayed 50 percent cannot be grazed; it must remain unhayed and ungrazed for wildlife.
New guidelines were recently announced for emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land. Annual rental payments for farmers enrolled in the CRP, who use those lands for emergency grazing and hay production, will be reduced by 10 percent instead of 25 percent. Also, because of the current severe drought, all counties with a drought level of D0 or higher, as measured by the US Drought Monitor, are approved for emergency haying and grazing outside of the primary nesting season.
Highly erodible land initiative
The Highly Erodible Land Initiative under the Conservation Reserve Program started on July 23 and continues until Sept. 30 or until the state acreage allocation limit is reached, whichever comes first.
Minnesota received a total allocation of 11,200 acres to enroll in the HELI CRP program.
Producers can stop by the local USDA FSA Service Center to determine if their land qualifies for the Highly Erodible Land Initiative and to receive additional location-specific details.
Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Incentive payments are not authorized under this initiative.
New land contracts approved during this continuous sign-up initiative will become effective the first day of the month following the month of approval and are valid for 10 years.
CRP contracts set to expire on Sept. 30 may be offered for consideration and approved contracts will become effective Oct. 1, and are also valid for 10 years.