Drought Toll Rises; 128 More Counties Designated Disaster Areas
Emergency grazing extended to assist ranchers
Friday, August 31, 2012
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday designated 147 additional counties in 14 states as natural disaster areas -- 128 counties in 10 states due to drought.
In the past seven weeks, USDA has designated 1,892 unduplicated counties in 38 states as disaster areas -- 1,820 due to drought.
To assist producers, the Agriculture Department (USDA) is permitting farmers and ranchers in drought stricken states that have been approved for emergency grazing to extend grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land through Nov. 30 without incurring an additional CRP rental payment reduction. The period normally allowed for emergency grazing lasts through Sept. 30.
The extension applies to general CRP practices and producers must submit a request to their Farm Service Agency county office indicating the acreage to be grazed. Expanded haying and grazing on CRP acres, along with usage of cover crops, has begun providing much needed feed to benefit all livestock, including dairy.
Primary counties and corresponding states designated as disaster areas today for drought and other reasons:
- Alabama [drought]
- Anne Arundel
- Prince George's
- Queen Anne's
- St. Mary's
- All 83 Counties
- St. Louis
- Big Horn
South Dakota [drought and other]
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