Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minn., and John Thune, R-S.D., on Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation to allow future emergency haying on federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land.
Currently, emergency haying on CRP land is not allowed until after the primary nesting season, which ends August 1 in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. The senators’ CRP Flexibility Act would give USDA the tools to allow emergency haying on CRP acres before August 1 when certain conditions are met and in consultation with the state conservation experts.
Reps. Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., introduced a House companion bill previously.
“Right now, over 70% of Minnesota is experiencing a severe drought, and it’s quickly worsening with the current hot weather,” said Smith. “This is devastating for our cattle producers, who are running out of hay to feed their herds. When severe droughts hit, the USDA should have the tools to allow farmers to access reserve land for haying. This will lessen the impact on the farm economy.”
–The Hagstrom Report