As drought pressure continues to build in the Maumee Valley Area, farmers are pursuing every option for harvesting local forages. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has options for harvesting forages from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage. The options are Managed Haying and Grazing or Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP. Each option has requirements that must be met before approval but with pre-approval, farmers could begin harvest as early as July 16, 2012. Given the current drought status, area farmers are eligible for the Managed Haying and Grazing of CRP. If drought conditions worsen, FSA may approve Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP. Details of the programs can be found at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/haygrazefactsheetfinal.pdf or by contacting your local FSA office.
Farmers should evaluate the potential quality of CRP forage and determine if it has a nutritional value in livestock or dairy production.