CRAMER: USDA Expands Emergency Grazing for Most of North Dakota
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement after Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is authorizing additional measures for livestock producers dealing with the ongoing drought across North Dakota.
“I thank Secretary Perdue and the USDA for their continued support for ranchers across North Dakota. With weather forecasts predicting drought conditions for the foreseeable future, producers need every tool available to manage the core part of their herds. Taking this proactive step to expand emergency grazing on CRP lands across most of North Dakota, even in areas where drought conditions are moderate, will ensure ranchers are able to access these lands before the forage loses its nutrients due to drought conditions. I’ll continue monitoring the situation and working with officials in North Dakota and Washington as we go forward.”
According to the USDA, Emergency grazing of CRP lands will be available for any county in which any part of its border lies within 150 miles of a county approved for emergency grazing of CRP. In addition, for any county in which any part of its border lies within 150 miles of any county approved for emergency grazing of CRP, USDA will allow CRP contract holders who hay their acreage according to their mid-management conservation plan to donate their hay to livestock producers in the drought-stricken counties. CRP contract holders still have the ability sell their hay with a 25 percent deduction as they’ve been fully authorized to do in the past. Emergency haying is not allowed until the end of the primary nesting season (July 15 for Montana and August 1 for North Dakota and South Dakota) at this time. The Secretary will continue to monitor conditions and will consider additional actions if drought conditions worsen.