Goehring pleased with CRP policy change

BISMARCK – North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said he is encouraged that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process to open Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for emergency haying and grazing in drought-stricken counties. To qualify, counties must have at least some land in D0-Abnormally Dry or worse drought conditions based on the U.S. drought monitor.

“I applaud Agriculture Secretary Vilsack for using his discretionary authority this year to open emergency haying and grazing on CRP in counties that are considered abnormally dry,” said Goehring. “It has been a difficult year for many of our North Dakota livestock producers to source feed, and this will certainly help.”

“Currently, 87.05 percent of North Dakota is considered abnormally dry or dryer, but we will have to wait to hear from FSA on the official list of authorized counties,” said Goehring.

To avoid the primary nesting season for wildlife, the earliest date farmers and ranchers can graze or hay their CRP is August 2. Those in eligible counties should visit their local Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service offices to do the necessary paperwork before starting any haying or grazing on their CRP acres.

“Fifty percent of the eligible CRP acres may be hayed and that hay may be sold for this year,” Goehring said. “However, there will be a ten percent reduction in their CRP payments for those who elect to hay or graze their acres.”

Producers looking to buy or sell feed can use the North Dakota State University Extension Service FeedList website, www.ag.ndsu.edu/feedlist, or contact their local extension office. The FeedList serves as a clearinghouse for the purchase and sale of feed.

The U.S. Drought Monitor for North Dakota can be viewed online at droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_state.htm?ND,HP.