USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Judith A. Canales has announced that 60 Counties are authorized for emergency grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year (FY) 2014 (Oct. 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014).

Unlike previous years, counties are not automatically approved for CRP emergency grazing when they reach the D2 (severe drought) level on the U.S. Drought Monitor - http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/. If there is a need for emergency grazing, each local FSA Office must request approval from the Texas FSA State Committee.

60 Counties listed

The following 59 counties received CRP emergency grazing approval. The 90-day emergency grazing period for these counties will end Sept. 11, 2014:

 

Andrews

Armstrong

Bailey

Borden

Briscoe

Carson

Castro

Cochran

Coleman

Collingsworth

Cottle

Crosby

Dallam

Dawson

Deaf Smith

Dickens

Donley

Fisher

Floyd

Foard

Gaines

Garza

Gray

Hall

Hale

Hansford

Hardeman

Hartley

Haskell

Hemphill

Hockley

Howard

Hutchinson

Jones

Kent

King

Knox

Lamb

Lipscomb

Lubbock

Lynn

Mitchell

Moore

Motley

Nolan

Oldham

Parmer

Potter

Randall

Roberts

Runnels

Scurry

Sherman

Stonewall

Swisher

Taylor

Terry

Wheeler

Yoakum

 

 

Ochiltree County also received CRP emergency grazing approval and the 90-day emergency grazing period for Ochiltree County will end on Sept. 18, 2014.

Based on a policy decision made by the Texas FSA State Committee, CRP acres grazed during fiscal year 2012 or 2013 will be considered eligible for emergency grazing if the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) verifies, on a case-by-case basis, that the conservation cover will sustain grazing.

Modified NRCS plan

"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency grazing of CRP must request approval before grazing eligible acreage and must obtain a modified conservation plan from the NRCS that includes grazing provisions," said Canales. "Current provisions allow grazing on 100 percent of a field, up to the 75 percent stocking rate."

There will be no CRP annual rental payment reduction for 2014 emergency grazing authorizations.

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.

Additionally, landowners with CRP land located within the Lesser Prairie Chicken Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) zones I, II and III will only be authorized to practice managed or routine grazing, managed harvesting, emergency haying or emergency grazing one out of every three years. This frequency regulation resets in 2014, meaning that any land hayed or grazed in prior years that meets the available forage requirement according to NRCS standards will be eligible for emergency use in 2014.

For more information and to request approval for emergency grazing use of CRP acres contact your local FSA Office.