In a letter to the secretary this week, NFU President Dave Frederickson said extending the CRP authorization would help reduce the economic burden on producers who would otherwise find it necessary to purchase hay and grain from outside sources.

“A number of our members who graze livestock have suffered significant losses of forage this year due to the extreme drought,” Frederickson said. “Since Congress did not pass disaster assistance this year, it is incredibly difficult for ranchers to afford supplemental feed.”

In some parts of the country, recent rainfall has begun to rejuvenate pastures and CRP acreage. Frederickson said that the extensions would also benefit the pasture recovery process by spreading late fall grazing over a much larger area.

Veneman announced Sept. 9 that emergency CRP haying and grazing would be allowed nationally through Nov. 30. At least three states – Colorado, Utah and Washington – have requested an extension of the emergency haying and grazing authorization to allow ranchers to continue to use this land as a livestock feed source.