USDA authorizes emergency haying, grazing in 58 Mississippi counties

In response to recent extreme temperatures and drought that has impacted forage acres, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) authorized emergency haying or grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program acres in 58 Mississippi counties. 

Emergency haying or grazing of certain grass and wildlife acreage enrolled in CRP has been authorized for Adams, Alcorn, Amite, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carrol, Chickasaw, Claiborne, Clay, Coahoma, Covington, Desoto, Forrest, Grenada, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union, Walthall, Warren, Washington, Webster, Winston, and Yalobusha counties.  Eligible CRP practices includes: CP1, CP2, CP10, CP4B and CP4D.

This authorization permits emergency haying or grazing in approved counties. There will be a 10 percent CRP payment reduction for haying or grazing CRP acres under these emergency provisions. Haying/grazing is not permitted during the primary nesting season which ends Aug. 15. If fields are hayed, producers shall only harvest hay from August 16 through August 31st.  If fields are grazed, producers shall only graze from Aug. 16 through Sept. 30.  

 Eligible producers who are interested in haying or grazing CRP under the emergency authorization and current CRP participants who choose to provide land for grazing or haying to an eligible livestock producer, must first request approval to hay or graze eligible acreage at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office;obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to include the haying or grazing requirements.  If fields are hayed, the producer must leave 50 % of each field or contiguous CRP field unhayed for wildlife.  If fields are grazed, producers must leave at least 25 percent of each field or contiguous CRP field ungrazed for wildlife; or graze not more than 75 percent of the stocking rate as determined by NRCS. 

For more information on FSA’s Emergency Conservation Program, or other drought assistance, visit www.fsa.usda.gov 

Upcoming NAP Application Closing Dates

Producers who want to purchase coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) should to do so on or before the application closing date for the applicable crop.  NAP provides financial assistance to eligible producers when natural disasters cause catastrophic loss of production (low yield) or prevented planting of an eligible noninsurable crop by providing coverage equivalent to CAT. In the event of a natural disaster, NAP covers the amount of loss greater than 50 percent of the expected production based on the producer’s approved yield and reported acreage.

The table below provides approved NAP crops with an Application Closing Date approaching.Application Closing Date    Crops: 

9/1/2012         Christmas Trees, Crustacean (Prawns), Finfish (Catfish & Tilapia), Grass for Sod, & Strawberries

9/30/2012       Bahia Seed, Oats, Onions, Wheat, Forage for grazing (Cool & Warm season), & Mechanically Harvested 

Forage (Cool & Warm season)  

11/20/2012     Honey, Apples, Blue Berries, & Grapes

Eligible producers can apply for coverage using form CCC-471, Application for Coverage. Producers must file the application and service fee on or before the application closing for the applicable crop. The service fee is the lesser of $250 per crop or $750 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,875 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.

 For more information on sales closing dates and NAP, contact your local Administrative FSA County Office.  

About Chris Elkins

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