DES MOINES, Iowa, July 31, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Matt Russell, today announced that 46 Iowa Counties are now authorized for emergency haying or grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year 2023. The 26 counties approved for emergency haying or grazing include Allamakee, Audubon, Benton, Buena Vista, Carroll, Cedar, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Crawford, Decatur, Des Moines, Fremont, Henry, Humboldt, Ida, Jones, Louisa, Marion, Muscatine, Page, Pocahontas, Sac, Shelby, and Washington. With 20 Iowa Counties restricted under Emergency Haying Criteria Based on Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) authorization: Appanoose, Cass, Davis, Harrison, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Lyon, Mahaska, Mills, Monona, Monroe, Montgomery, Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Van Buren, Wapello, Wayne, Woodbury.
Counties are automatically approved for CRP emergency haying and grazing when they reach the D2 (severe drought) level on the U.S. Drought Monitor and are outside of the primary nesting season (May 15th through August 1st). Additionally, the 2018 farm bill also authorized counties with a documented 40-percent loss of forage production to be eligible for emergency haying and grazing. Local FSA County Committees can review forge loss data and make a recommendation to the Iowa FSA State Committee to authorize emergency haying and grazing.
A CRP participant must receive approval for emergency haying from their county FSA Office before any action is taken. The emergency haying authorizations end on August 31, 2023.
A CRP participant must receive approval for emergency grazing from their local FSA office before any action is taken. The emergency grazing period for these counties will end on September 30, 2023.
CRP participants can seek approval for emergency haying or emergency grazing but cannot do both on the same acres.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is updated every Thursday and new counties may become eligible for emergency haying and grazing. Participants in newly approved counties will need to sign up at their local FSA offices and get approval before completing any haying or grazing activity.
"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying and grazing of CRP must request approval before haying and grazing eligible acreage and must obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that includes haying and grazing provisions," said Russell.
For more information and to request approval for emergency haying or grazing use of CRP acres, contact your local USDA Service Center.