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Bowman, Slope counties granted emergency CRP haying and grazing

BOWMAN--Bowman and Slope counties in southwest North Dakota have recently experienced extreme drought. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency has authorized emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve P...

Hay bales are show. (Pixabay)
Hay bales are show. (Pixabay)

BOWMAN-Bowman and Slope counties in southwest North Dakota have recently experienced extreme drought.

In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency has authorized emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program lands in the two counties.

The last emergency haying and grazing in North Dakota was declared in 2012.

The emergency was determined by an elected three-person committee, comprised of farmers and ranchers who represent Bowman and Slope counties. At their monthly meeting, the committee discovered both counties reached a drought level two, which automatically qualified them for an emergency haying and grazing.

"The county committee requested that the state open up the CRP haying or grazing," FSA North Dakota State Executive Director Aaron Krauter said. "We got the request yesterday, and this morning at 7 o'clock I approved it so the counties are allowing certain practices of conservation acres to be hayed or grazed."

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Those who own livestock and have CRP acreage are eligible for the program. If interested, they must contact their local FSA office to receive approval and more information. After approval, any haying activity may occur by Wednesday, Aug. 31, and grazing can happen until Friday, Sept. 30. Farmers are also reminded that any CRP acreage may not be both grazed and cut for hay under the emergency provision, and any wetland or farmable wetland aren't eligible for either haying or grazing.

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