USDA authorizes emergency grazing of CRP acres

Nolan County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Dennis Cumbie announced that Nolan County was authorized for emergency grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year (FY) 2013. The following Texas counties are approved for emergency grazing: Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Crosby, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Donley, Floyd, Gray, Hale, Hardeman, Hemphill, Hockley, Kent, Lamb, Lipscomb, Lubbock, Nolan, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Scurry, Sherman, Swisher, Terry, Wheeler and Yoakum.CRP emergency grazing authorizations for the above counties will begin no earlier than Dec. 1, for a 90 day period, not to exceed Feb. 28, 2013. Based on a decision made by the Texas FSA State Committee, CRP emergency grazing approval will only be available for those CRP lands that were not utilized for haying or grazing during fiscal year 2011 or 2012. 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 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. Additionally, there will be a 25 percent CRP payment reduction 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 acres located within the approved county. For more information and to request approval for emergency grazing use of CRP acres contact the Nolan County FSA office at 325-235-8693.