More than 50 Nebraska counties have been authorized for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres, due to the lingering drought.
The Farm Service Agency has announced that ranchers in 54 Nebraska counties will be able to allow their cattle to graze CRP land or will be able to harvest hay from the acreage.
The counties are Antelope, Arthur, Banner, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Cedar, Chase, Cheyenne, Clay, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dundy, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Howard, Kearney, Keith, Kimball, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, McPherson, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nuckolls, Perkins, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Red Willow, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sioux, Stanton, Valley, Webster, and Wheeler.
CRP land cannot be used for grazing or haying unless authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture. In this case, the emergency declaration has been provided to help livestock producers who have lost forage due to the severe drought.
“Drought has been ongoing in Nebraska counties for more than a year and forage losses have impacted livestock producers to the extent of drastic herd reductions,” said State Farm Service Agency Director Dan Steinkruger in a written statement released by his office. “In 2012 USDA opened CRP acres for emergency haying and grazing and Nebraska farmers and ranchers utilized over 300,000 acres under the program to provide forage to livestock.”
Producers must request approval before they cut hay or let their cattle graze on CRP land.
To learn more, contact the local FSA office or go online at fsa.usda.gov/ne.