USDA authorizes emergency grazing of CRP acres

Nolan County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Dennis Cumbie announced that in response to drought conditions, the Texas FSA State Committee authorized emergency grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for 92 Texas counties effective Nov. 1, 2011, for the fiscal year (FY) 2012 winter/spring period. Emergency grazing for FY 2011 ends on Oct. 31, 2011. "The 2012 CRP emergency grazing period begins on Nov. 1, 2011, and ends on Jan. 29, 2012," said Cumbie. "CRP land previously hayed or grazed, either managed or emergency use, during the previous 12 months is excluded from the FY 2012 grazing authorization," he said. The following Texas counties are approved for CRP emergency grazing approval for FY 2012: Armstrong, Bailey, Baylor, Borden, Bosque, Briscoe, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Carson, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Collingsworth, Concho, Cottle, Crosby, Dallam, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Delta, Dickens, Donley, Duval, Fannin, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Frio, Gaines, Garza, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hansford, Hardeman, Hartley, Haskell, Hemphill, Hidalgo, Hill, Hockley, Howard, Hutchinson, Jones, Kenedy, Kent, King, Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, Lamar, Lamb, LaSalle, Lipscomb, Live Oak, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Maverick, Medina, Mitchell, Montague, Moore, Motley, Nolan, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Pecos, Potter, Randall, Red River, Roberts, Runnels, Scurry, Shackelford, Sherman, Starr, Stonewall, Swisher, Taylor, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Uvalde, Wheeler, Wilbarger and Yoakum. The FY 2012 CRP emergency authorization permits grazing only. No haying of CRP acres is allowed at this time. Additionally, there will be a 25 percent CRP payment reduction on the 2012 annual payment for CRP acres used for grazing under these emergency provisions. 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 the acreage located within the approved counties. Eligible producers who are interested in grazing CRP under the emergency authorization and current CRP participants who choose to provide land for grazing to an eligible livestock producer, must first request approval to graze eligible acreage; obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to include grazing requirements, leave at least 25 percent of each field or contiguous CRP field ungrazed for wildlife, or graze not more than 75 percent of the stocking rate as determined by NRCS.For more information on emergency grazing of CRP acres contact the Nolan County FSA office at 325-235-8693.