The Farm Service Agency announced Wednesday the expansion of the emergency haying program — including an expansion in Harvey County.
Adrian J. Polansky, State Executive Director of the Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced Wednesday that emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices CP-25-Rare & Declining Habitat, CP8A-Grass Waterways, CP23-Wetland Restoration, CP23A-Wetland Restoration Non-Floodplain, CP27-Farmable Wetlands Pilot Wetland and CP28-Farmable Wetlands Pilot Buffer acreage has been approved for 66 counties in Kansas.
The counties approved are: Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Cowley, Decatur, Edwards, Elk, Ellis, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Morris, Morton, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rawlins, Reno, Republic, Rice, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Trego, Wallace and Wichita.
"This authorization provides additional relief for many Kansas livestock producers who have suffered through severe drought conditions," said Polansky. "Many of these additional acres have wetland related characteristics and are likely to contain better quality hay and forage than on other CRP acres."
To minimize the impact on these specialty practices, the following provisions must be met: Harvesting of hay is limited to a single cutting per field. No more than 50 percent of a CRP field may be hayed and the haying must be completed by August 31, 2013. Grazing is permitted through September 30, 2013. Livestock must be removed at the end of the grazing period or when the minimum average height reaches 5 inches. No extension will be granted for haying or grazing authorizations. Prior to implementing any form of haying or grazing, a conservation plan must be developed that is in compliance with NEPA and all other federal state laws and regulations.
The sale of hay will be permitted as long as hay was not sold from the same acreage during the previous two years. Producers without livestock may rent or lease the haying or grazing privileges. The annual payment reduction has been changed from 25 percent to 10 percent for all emergency haying and grazing activity in 2013.
CRP participants in approved counties shall contact their local FSA county office to request emergency haying and grazing on an individual contract basis prior to haying and grazing. If the CRP cover is destroyed, the practice must be re-established at the contract participant’s own expense to remain in compliance with the CRP contract.