SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Executive Director Bill Graff announced that Bureau, Fulton, Henry, Mercer, Morgan, Rock Island and Whiteside counties are authorized for emergency haying and grazing use of eligible Conservation Reserve Program acres outside of the Primary Nesting Season.

Emergency haying is permitted through Aug. 31, and emergency grazing is permitted through Sept. 30.

“Producers who are interested in emergency haying or grazing of eligible CRP acres must request FSA county office approval before starting any haying and grazing activities,” Graff said. “The request must include a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service with haying and grazing provisions.”

Haying is restricted to no more than 50% of the eligible CRP contract acreage, and grazing use shall leave 25% of each field or contiguous fields ungrazed or graze 100% of a field, but at not more than 75% stocking rate.

Producers can use the eligible CRP acreage under the emergency grazing provisions for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the eligible CRP acreage.

The CRP acreage is limited to acres located within the approved county. There will be no CRP annual rental payment reduction for 2019 emergency haying and grazing authorizations.

Under the emergency haying and grazing provisions, eligible CRP acreage cannot be hayed or grazed at the same time. For example, if half the field or contiguous field is hayed, the remaining half cannot be grazed, but must remain unhayed and ungrazed for wildlife.

In addition, participants are limited to one hay cutting and are not permitted to sell any of the hay. All hay bales must be removed by Aug. 31, and all livestock must be removed from the CRP acreage by Sept. 30.

For more information or to request approval for emergency haying or grazing use of CRP acres, contact the Bureau County FSA at 815-875-8732; Fulton County FSA at 309-547-2233; Henry County FSA at 309-937-3377; Mercer County FSA at 309-582-5153; Morgan County FSA at 217-243-1535; Rock Island County FSA at 309-764-1486; and Whiteside County at 815-772-2124, or visit www.farmers.gov.

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