Nolan County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Dennis Cumbie today announced that Nolan County was authorized for emergency grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year (FY) 2014.
Unlike previous years, counties are not automatically approved for CRP emergency grazing when they reach the D2 (severe drought) level on the U.S. Drought Monitor. If there is a need for emergency grazing, each local FSA Office must request approval from the Texas FSA State Committee. Currently, 59 counties have received emergency grazing approval. The 90-day emergency grazing period for these counties will end Sept. 11, 2014.
Based on a policy decision made by the Texas FSA State Committee, CRP acres grazed during fiscal year 2012 or 2013 will be considered eligible for emergency grazing if NRCS verifies, on a case-by-case basis, that the conservation cover will sustain grazing. FSA’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
“Eligible producers who are interested in emergency grazing of CRP must request approval before grazing eligible acreage and must obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that includes grazing provisions,” said Cumbie. “Current provisions allow grazing on 100 percent of a field, up to the 75 percent stocking rate,” he said.
There will be no CRP annual rental payment reduction for 2014 emergency grazing authorizations.
To take advantage of the emergency grazing provisions, authorized producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. The eligible CRP acreage is limited to acres located within the approved county.
Additionally, CRP land located within the Lesser Prairie Chicken Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) zones I, II and III will only be able to practice managed or routine grazing, managed harvesting, emergency haying or emergency grazing one out of every three years. This frequency regulation resets in 2014, meaning that any land hayed or grazed in prior years that meets the available forage requirement according to NRCS standards will be eligible for emergency use in 2014.
For more information and to request approval for emergency grazing use of CRP acres contact the Nolan County FSA office at 325-235-8693.