(WASHINGTON) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association sent a letter to Secretary Perdue requesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture consider authorizing the emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program lands in the drought-stricken regions of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. USDA immediately responded with the authorization, and went beyond the initial ask to also include up to 150 miles beyond the D2 region.
In the letter, USCA President Kenny Graner from Mandan, North Dakota noted that emergency grazing is still not immediately available to many producers in these regions due to fencing and watering needs. USCA applauds USDA’s recognition of that fact in today’s announcement. “Making use of these vital grounds while there is still relative feed value left is crucial to keeping herds solvent through the coming winter,” Graner added.
USCA Secretary Whitney Klasna from Lambert, Montana noted that in many places, the upland bird population that nests on CRP lands have already left their nests and are on the move, and are more than capable of moving safely out of the way of haying equipment. “We have already moved our cows onto pastures that we typically reserve for late summer and early fall grazing. Our stock dams are drying up and we will have a well driller out this week to drill a new well for stock water. The forecast shows no relief, with temperatures hovering near 100 degrees. The extended forecast shows no chance of moisture, meaning we are only one lightning strike away from a big disaster, and what hay we do have left is burning up on our CRP lands. Today’s announcement will provide our operation with the tools we need to take care of our stock through these especially difficult times.” Klasna commented.
USCA appreciates the Secretary’s timely response to producer concerns and commends the Administration for quickly addressing the situation.
Read USCA’s letter HERE.