USDA authorizes emergency haying, grazing of CRP acres for 46 Iowa counties

DES MOINES – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Matt Russell, today announced that 46 Iowa Counties are now authorized for emergency haying or grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year 2023.The 26 counties approved for emergency haying or grazing include: Allamakee, Audubon, Benton, Buena Vista, Carroll, Cedar, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Crawford, Decatur, Des Moines, Fremont, Henry, Humboldt, Ida, Jones, Louisa, Marion, Muscatine, Page, Pocahontas, Sac, Shelby, and Washington. With 20 Iowa Counties restricted under Emergency Haying Criteria Based on Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) authorization: Appanoose, Cass, Davis, Harrison, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Lyon, Mahaska, Mills, Monona, Monroe, Montgomery, Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Van Buren, Wapello, Wayne, Woodbury.

Counties are automatically approved for CRP emergency haying and grazing when they reach the D2 (severe drought) level on the U.S. Drought Monitor and are outside of the primary nesting season (May 15th through August 1st). Additionally, the 2018 farm bill also authorized counties with a documented 40-percent loss of forage production to be eligible for emergency haying and grazing. Local FSA County Committees can review forge loss data and make a recommendation to the Iowa FSA State Committee to authorize emergency haying and grazing.

A CRP participant must receive approval for emergency haying from their county FSA Office before any action is taken. The emergency haying authorizations end on August 31, 2023.

A CRP participant must receive approval for emergency grazing from their local FSA office before any action is taken. The emergency grazing period for these counties will end Sept. 30, 2023.

CRP participants are eligible to seek approval for either emergency haying or emergency grazing but cannot do both on the same acres.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is updated every Thursday and new counties may become eligible for emergency haying and grazing. Participants in newly approved counties will need to sign up at their local FSA offices and get approval prior to completing any haying or grazing activity.

“Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying and grazing of CRP must request approval before haying and grazing eligible acreage and must obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that includes haying and grazing provisions,” said Russell.

There will be no CRP annual rental payment reduction for 2023 emergency haying and grazing authorizations.

CRP participants in counties not eligible for Emergency Haying and Grazing are eligible for Non-Emergency Haying and Grazing starting August 2. CRP participants should check with their local FSA office to determine their eligibility and specifics. They need to sign up and get approval from their local FSA office before any haying or grazing is started.