Emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program acreage has been approved for 33 Montana counties previously approved for emergency grazing of CRP.
The counties include Blaine, Broadwater,Chouteau, Liberty and Phillips counties.
County FSA offices began taking applications for emergency haying CRP acres on Monday. Emergency haying is authorized from the signup date until Aug. 31, or until conditions no longer warrant emergency haying of CRP acres, said Randy Johnson, FSA executive director in Montana.
Only livestock operations located within an approved county are eligible for emergency haying. CRP participants within an approved county may lease haying privileges to any livestock producer located in an approved county. Haying is limited to one cutting.
Counties contiguous to an approved county are not approved for CRP haying. Participants cannot hay and graze the same CRP acreage.
Any CRP acreage hayed is subject to a 25 percent per acre annual rental payment reduction. The CRP annual rental payment scheduled to be made after Oct. 1 will be reduced by the number of acres actually hayed in fiscal year 2002 times the CRP per-acre annual rental payment times 25 percent.
Before haying may begin on CRP acreage, participants must file a request at the local FSA office, obtain a modified conservation plan to include haying from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and have the haying application approved by the FSA county committee or its designee.
Participants who request to hay CRP must agree to leave at least 50 percent of each field or contiguous fields unhayed for wildlife.
Acreage also eligible for emergency haying includes CRP land enrolled in the wetland restoration program known as practice CP 23.
For more information, contac the local FSA office or log on to the Montana FSA Web page at www.fsa.usda.gov/mt.