Growing drought concerns have prompted federal lawmakers from Kansas to seek emergency grazing and haying regulations.
Republican Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, along with Senator Jerry Moran and Congressman Roger Marshall, last week penned a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue seeking emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program lands due to severe drought.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated more than 24 Kansas counties primary natural disaster areas, and the state has given a drought declaration to all 105 counties in Kansas. The U.S. Drought Monitor last week found extreme drought conditions cover almost 20 percent of the state with severe drought covering 56 percent and moderate drought covering an additional 26 percent.
Beyond Kansas, nearly all of the Southwestern U.S. is classified in some form of drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor.