USDA authorizes emergency grazing and haying of CRP acres for Fannin County
By Amy J Bailey, County Executive Director, USDA-Fannin County FSA
Sep 13, 2011
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BONHAM, TX – September 12, 2011 - In response to drought conditions, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) authorized emergency grazing and haying use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for Fannin County. This authorization brings the total to 89 counties approved to graze CRP acres and 82 counties approved to hay CRP acres.

For Fannin County, haying authorization ends on September 30, 2011 and in accordance with the CRP policy changes, grazing authorization ends on October 31, 2011.


"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency grazing or haying of CRP must request approval before grazing or haying eligible acreage," said Amy Bailey, Fannin County executive director. "Producers must also obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes grazing and haying requirements," she said.


Additionally, there will be a 25 percent CRP payment reduction for CRP acres used for grazing or haying (depending on the number of acres actually hayed) under these emergency provisions.


To take advantage of the emergency grazing and haying provisions, authorized producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. The eligible CRP acreage is limited to acres located within the approved county.


For emergency grazing requests…


Eligible producers who are interested in grazing CRP under the emergency authorization and current CRP participants who choose to provide land for grazing to an eligible livestock producer, must first request approval to graze eligible acreage; obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to include grazing requirements, leave at least 25 percent of each field or contiguous CRP field ungrazed for wildlife, or graze not more than 75 percent of the stocking rate as determined by NRCS.


For emergency haying requests…


Upon approval of emergency haying, producers must leave at least 50 percent of each field or contiguous field unhayed for wildlife. Since Fannin County is 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.


For more information and to request approval for emergency grazing or haying of CRP acres contact the Fannin County FSA office at 903-583-9513.