MO delegation asks USDA to emergency hay CRP

Missouri lawmakers are asking Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to immediately allow emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program acres in the drought.

The primary nesting season delays several actions on CRP ground until after July 15 in Missouri.

In a letter, the U.S. lawmakers said more than 80% of Missouri is experiencing drought conditions and those dry conditions have been lasting much of the growing season.

Lawmakers said available forage in pastures and hay crop yields are below typical and some producers started feeding hay to livestock in June, long before the typical November timeframe.

Emergency grazing of CRP has been available for some counties, but they said those lands don’t have adequate fencing or water access for livestock and more should be done for Missouri livestock producers.

When asked about emergency haying and grazing Conservation Reserve Program acres in a call with reporters at the end of June, Vilsack said…

“We’ll use all of the tools we possibly can to provide as much help as we can. That’s what we’ve done historically and there’s no reason to think we wouldn’t do that again.”

There are concerns the quality of forage that can be hayed will continue to decline in the next few weeks.

Representatives Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith, Mark Alford and Eric Burlison signed the letter, along with Senators Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt.

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