U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) state executive director Amanda De Jong announced that, effective immediately, emergency grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres is approved in Iowa through May 14, 2019. The authorization was granted to address the impacts of the recent extreme weather, including flooding. Participation is limited to livestock producers who lost pasture or fences due to the flooding.
“By allowing emergency grazing, we expand the available resources to help Iowa producers respond to recent weather events,” De Jong said.
Producers who are interested in the use of emergency grazing of CRP acres must request FSA county office approval before moving livestock onto the acres. Producers whose livestock grazing land was adversely affected by the flood must file a CCC-576 Notice of Loss or provide written certification of that loss. The request must include a modified conservation plan, with grazing provisions, from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
CRP participants can allow others to use their CRP acres under this emergency grazing authorization. However, the livestock owners will also need to complete FSA paperwork indicating that their grazing land was adversely affected by severe weather. There will be no reduction in CRP rental payments to CRP contract holders who use the emergency grazing authorization. CRP contract holders are not permitted to charge livestock producers for the emergency grazing option.
For several weeks now, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Assn. said it has been working to help producers across the state adjust to the inclement and disastrous weather that has plagued the state.
“While weather and natural disaster continues to affect our producers and the production livestock they tend to each and every day, we will continue to work with FSA on Livestock Indemnity Program flexibility and work with local offices to ensure this assistance goes into widespread use on behalf of Iowa’s beef business during a very challenging time,” the organization said in a news release.
For more information on eligible practices or to request approval for emergency grazing use of CRP acres, contact a local FSA office, or visit www.farmers.gov/service-locator.