Thune, Klobuchar Call on USDA to Provide Additional Haying Options for Livestock Producers due to drought


“We urge you to prioritize quick action to ensure that livestock producers have more emergency options as drought conditions worsen.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting swift action from the department to ensure livestock producers have additional emergency Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) haying options as the drought continues. The senators specifically asked for clarifications regarding emergency haying when the U.S. Drought Monitor designates D3 extreme drought conditions.

“Livestock producers in Minnesota and South Dakota are particularly concerned about certain Conservation Reserve Program acres that are eligible for emergency haying and grazing under D2 conditions but are ineligible when a county moves to D3 conditions,” the senators wrote. “When conditions on the ground worsen, producers already facing a shortage of hay and available grazing lands should be provided with more options—not fewer.”

Thune has been urging USDA to prioritize timely assistance for South Dakota producers affected by ongoing drought. Last month, Thune introduced legislation that would improve USDA’s ability to allow for timely emergency CRP haying if certain conditions are met.

–Senator Thune

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