SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Scott Halpin, state executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Illinois, announced that four additional counties are authorized for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres for fiscal year 2023.
Clay, Fayette, Hamilton and Richland counties are currently eligible for emergency haying and grazing. The emergency grazing and emergency haying authorization period for the counties will end on Sept. 30.
Counties become eligible for CRP emergency haying and grazing when they reach the D2 severe drought level on the U.S. Drought Monitor for at least one week and are outside of the primary nesting season, April 15 through Aug. 1.
Additionally, the 2018 farm bill authorized counties with a documented 40% loss of forage production to be eligible for emergency grazing and haying.
Local FSA County Committees can review forage loss data and make a recommendation to the Illinois FSA State Committee to authorize emergency haying and grazing outside the primary nesting season.
Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying and grazing CRP acres must request approval before haying and grazing eligible acreage and must obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes haying and grazing provisions.
All practices for emergency haying and grazing are eligible except CP38 (SAFE) and Conservation Reserve Enhancement acres. There will be no CRP annual rental payment reduction for 2023 emergency haying and grazing authorizations.
To take advantage of the emergency haying or grazing provisions, authorized producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. Participants are limited to one hay cutting and are permitted to sell the hay.
In counties that are authorized for emergency haying and grazing, producers are reminded that the same CRP acreage cannot be both hayed and grazed at the same time. The eligible CRP acreage is limited to acres located within the approved county.