WASHINGTON – Senator Pat Roberts, ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today praised the Department of Agriculture for approving his request for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) CP25 acreage to provide an important feed option for Kansas producers during this year’s extreme drought.
“I am pleased that the secretary has granted this additional relief for producers in Kansas facing extreme drought conditions,” said Roberts. “I requested that the secretary move quickly on allowing emergency grazing on the CP25 acres and thank him for swift action.”
Roberts sent a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier this week requesting the CP25 acreage, explaining how livestock producers are running out of forage to support their herds, and without additional forage the producers would be forced to liquidate.
Today, USDA officials notified Senator Roberts that the emergency grazing on certain CP25 acreage has been approved.
Producers should check with their local FSA office regarding their specific CRP contracts. The text of the letter is below:
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
"I write to request that you grant the emergency grazing authority for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) CP25 acreage recommended by Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Adrian Polansky. I appreciate your recent efforts to provide relief for farm and ranch families in Kansas devastated by drought. Your previous decision to approve emergency grazing of CRP acreage provided an important feed option for many of these producers.
Despite this previous action, livestock producers are running out of forage to support their herds. This is particularly critical to cow-calf operations. Without access to additional forage, these seedstock producers will be forced to liquidate. It has taken years, often through generations of family involvement, to build the genetics and traits of these herds. That is why this request for additional grazing authority is of critical importance.
The livestock industry and wildlife interests in Kansas have a strong partnership. These groups have been actively working on efforts in coordination with Kansas FSA to manage grazing that is beneficial to both wildlife habitat and livestock production. Grasslands in Kansas have historically been managed through grazing and burning. Continuation of these practices is beneficial for the health of the grass and habitat.
Your prompt consideration and approval of this time sensitive request will be most appreciated. I look forward to working with you on this issue."