Hoeven: USDA Providing Greater Flexibility for Emergency Grazing on CRP Lands for Drought-Stricken Ranchers

WASHINGTON - Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide greater flexibilities in the emergency grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to assist North Dakota ranchers impacted by drought conditions. Specifically, USDA will be allowing emergency grazing in any county whose border is within 150 miles of a county in drought. Additionally, USDA will allow producers in these counties, who are CRP contract holders allowed to hay within their mid-management contract plan, to donate that hay to producers in drought-stricken counties.

“We appreciate Secretary Perdue’s support for ranchers who are facing real challenges due to drought conditions,” said Hoeven. “This flexibility in the emergency grazing program will provide additional grazing on CRP acres, and much needed hay, delivering some relief for our producers. We will continue to work with USDA to provide assistance for our ranchers during these challenging times.”

Earlier this month, following a letter from Hoeven and the delegation pressing USDA to open CRP lands, the agency opened emergency grazing in countiesexperiencing drought conditions in categories D2 or higher on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Ranchers should work with their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office to access the emergency grazing acres.