Illinois livestock producers this week received additional drought relief as USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack authorized the release of emergency haying and grazing for all Illinois counties for certain practices and acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
The grazing can begin Aug. 2, outside the primary nesting season for wildlife. The decision was based upon the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Emergency grazing is allowed from Aug. 2 through Sept. 30. Participants are required to leave at least 25 percent of each field or contiguous CRP field ungrazed, or graze not more than 75 percent of the stocking rate. All livestock must be removed by Sept. 30.
Emergency haying is available from Aug. 2 through Aug. 31.
Participants must leave at least 50 percent of each field or contiguous CRP fields unhayed for wildlife. Hay that is baled may be given away or sold. All hay must be removed from the field by Aug. 31.
“Emergency haying and grazing is not allowed on the same acreage, and only certain CRP practices are eligible," said Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive director of the Illinois Farm Service Agency.
"The secretary of agriculture announced on July 11, 2012, the payment reduction for emergency haying and grazing has been reduced from 25 percent of the rental payment per acre to 10 percent for the 2012 year.”
Eligible producers who are interested in haying or grazing CRP under the emergency authorization, and current CRP participants who choose to provide land for haying or grazing to an eligible livestock producer, must first request approval from their local FSA office and obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
For more information, contact your local FSA office or visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov.