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12 Iowa counties authorized to use CRP acres for emergency haying, grazing

Twelve Iowa counties have been authorized to use Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for emergency haying or grazing for the 2022 fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. Counties receive automatic approval 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 15 through August 1).

The six counties approved for emergency haying or grazing include Buena Vista, Clay, Ida, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, and Sac. The six counties restricted under Emergency Haying Criteria Based on LFP Triggers are Cherokee, Monona, O’Brien, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury. 

A CRP participant must receive approval for emergency haying from their county FSA office before any action is taken. The authorizations end August 31, 2022. A CRP participant must also receive approval for emergency grazing from their local FSA office before any action is taken. This approval ends September 30, 2022. Participants are eligible to request approval for either 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 prior to 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," says Matt Russell, Iowa's state executive director with the USDA Farm Service Agency. "Current provisions allow landowners and producers approved by the local FSA office for haying or grazing to begin no sooner than August 2, 2022."

The CRP annual rental payment will not be reduced for 2022 emergency haying and grazing authorizations.

CRP participants in counties not eligible for Emergency Haying and Grazing are eligible for Non-Emergency Haying and Grazing starting August 2. Participants should check with their local FSA office to determine their eligibility and specifics. They need to sign up and get approval from their local FSA office before any haying or grazing begins. 

Contact your local USDA Service Center for more information. 

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