Emergency Haying & Grazing Approved For Dickinson & Emmet Counties Due To Drought

Fri 7-28-2017

(Estherville)-- Several northwest Iowa counties have been approved for emergency haying and grazing of CRP set-aside acres. Dickinson and Emmet counties are among them.

Larry Lago of the Farm Service Agency says producers wishing to participate must contact their local FSA office before doing any haying or grazing on those lands...Lago01 (1) 

"Not all CRP fields are eligible under this new designation of release. So we need to sit down with the producer and take a look at what they would like to do, hay or graze the CRP field, which field they would like to do that in, then go ahead and draft up a conservation plan with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. That way we can look at any concerns of maintaining the cover that's out there on the CRP as well as wildlife considerations. With the haying request that a producer would submit, they're authorized to hay up to one half of the eligible field so it does again relieve the pressure that this may put on the wildlife that's out there. Also, if they're going to graze a field it will take a look at only 75 percent of the field being grazed which a lot of time is impossible to do, so we'll look at a stocking rate of 75 percent of the intended livestock that would go out on that field to make sure, again, there's plenty of cover left as well as plenty of areas for wildlife to transfer to during the haying or grazing process."

Lago says there are deadlines which producers who want to take advantage of the program will need to meet...Lago02 (1) 

"The haying part of it ends August 31st. Not only does the request have to be filed, but the haying must be completed by August 31st. If producers are going to graze the CRP land and be approved for that, those livestock will have to be removed from those fields by September 30th."

Lago says the emergency haying or grazing is a result of ongoing drought conditions in northwest Iowa.