Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

July 18, 2012

Decatur County approved for emergency grazing


Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Indiana Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Julia A. Wickard recently announced that 22 counties are authorized for emergency grazing of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

The counties approved for CRP emergency grazing are Allen, Huntington, Orange, Brown, Knox, Owen, Cass, Kosciusko, Pike, Daviess, LaGrange, Posey, Decatur, Lawrence, Sullivan, Dubois, Martin, Wabash, Fulton, Monroe, Gibson and Noble.

The CRP emergency grazing authorization for 2012 is effective immediately and currently ends Sept. 30.

The Indiana State FSA Office reviewed the provisions for the emergency haying and grazing and made a number of recommendations to the national office.  These recommendations were based on local FSA County Committee and concurrence of Indiana Conservation and Agricultural Partners. At the present time haying of CRP is not authorized until the end of the primary nesting date which, at the latest, is Aug. 2, depending on the age of the CRP contract.

"It is imperative eligible producers who are interested in emergency grazing of CRP request written approval from the local FSA office before grazing the acreage," said Wickard. "Producers must also obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that outlines permitted grazing practices. There will be a 10 percent annual payment reduction for CRP acres used for grazing under these emergency provisions, which was reduced from 25 percent recently by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.Ó

Only certain CRP practices are eligible for release under these emergency provisions. Whole field cool season grass practices (CP1) are among those eligible practices.  Environmentally sensitive land enrolled under grassed filter strips, waterways, and nearly all State Acres for Wildlife are ineligible for release under any conditions due to the focus on wildlife habitat and environmentally sensitive location of these practices.

To take advantage of the emergency grazing 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.

It is anticipated that additional counties will be added; producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for the latest information. Additional information is available at www.fsa.usda.gov.