From Josh Hanning, Acting State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency
Below is the guidance on CRP emergency grazing. I cannot stress enough each situation will be different for each CRP participant/grazer and they will need to contact their local office for details.
A county is eligible for emergency CRP grazing when any or all of the county that the CRP is located in is designated as D2 or greater for one week according to the Drought Monitor. So, any Oregon county that remains D2 or greater going into the new program year or calendar year will remain eligible for Emergency CRP grazing. If a county is eligible for LFP payments, then grazing during the Primary Nesting Season (March 1-July 15) is also allowed. However, a carrying capacity reduction applies to CRP grazing during the Primary Nesting Season.
CRP emergency grazing is limited to 90 consecutive days, as well as 90 days within a program year. The program year runs from October 1 – September 30. Any grazing that happens beginning October 1 will count towards the days a participant utilizes for 2022. For example: If a participant grazes from September 1, 2021 – November 15, 2021, 30 days will count towards the 90 day limit for the 2021 program year, and 46 days will count towards the 90 day limit for 2022 program year.
All CRP grazing must comply with the NRCS approved grazing plan. This includes carrying capacities, grazing duration, and stubble height requirements. If forage quality or quantity declines faster than expected, grazing may need to end sooner to stay in compliance with the grazing plan and prevent long term damage to the CRP cover. Any acreage that has been grazed within the last 12 months will be spot checked prior to the development of a grazing plan, in case additional adjustments need to be made.
Please contact your local FSA office to begin the process for CRP grazing approval, and discuss any provisions that may apply to your specific contract.