Federal Agricultural Department officials have approved emergency haying and grazing rules for land in 66 Kansas counties stricken with drought.
The state’s Farm Service Agency director announced the rules for land enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program.
The affected counties are: Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Cowley, Decatur, Edwards, Elk, Ellis, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Morris, Morton, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rawlins, Reno, Republic, Rice, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Trego, Wallace and Wichita.
Multi-year drought has reduced the ability of farmers to produce hay or to provide forage and pasture for livestock. The CRP emergency program has the potential of providing additional foodstock.
Current CRP enrollment in Kansas is 2.3 million acres, according to the news release. Emergency haying in approved counties is allowed through Aug. 15, and emergency grazing through Sept. 30.
Producers must get prior approval from county FSA offices to graze or hay CRP land. Other limitations and consequences also apply.