USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Judith A. Canales announced on Monday, July 1, that 197 Counties are authorized for emergency haying use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year (FY) 2013, effective July 2, 2013. Counties become eligible for CRP emergency haying when they reach the D2 (severe drought) level on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Currently, 197 counties have reached the D2 level and are eligible for CRP emergency haying. It is possible that more counties will reach the D2 level eligibility requirement in coming weeks.
The CRP emergency haying authorization for fiscal year 2013 begins July 2, 2013 for a 60 day period, not to exceed Aug. 31, 2013.
Based on a revised policy decision made by the Texas FSA State Committee, CRP acres hayed during fiscal year 2011 or 2012 will be considered eligible for emergency haying if NRCS verifies, on a case-by-case basis, that the conservation cover will sustain haying. FSA’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
“Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying of CRP must request approval before haying eligible acreage and must obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes haying requirements,” said Canales.
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.
In addition, participants are limited to one hay cutting and are not permitted to sell any of the hay.
There will be a 25 percent CRP payment reduction for CRP acres used for haying under these emergency provisions.
To take advantage of the emergency haying provisions, authorized producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage for the purpose of haying.
For more information and to request approval for emergency haying use of CRP acres contact your local FSA office (link).