Thirteen Iowa counties are now eligible for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres due to drought conditions, according to the Iowa Farm Service Agency. The Iowa FSA received approval August 16 from the national FSA to add Adams and Union Counties to a list of 11 previously-approved counties eligible for the activity, due to drought conditions.
Adams and Union counties are considered "D-1 Moderate Drought" counties by the U.S. Drought Monitor and did not meet FSA regulatory guidelines for authorization of haying and grazing of CRP, but the Iowa FSA asked for authorization anyway due to producer requests. Eligibility is based on county FSA committees submitting evidence that the county is suffering from a 40 percent or greater loss in normal hay and pasture production – a threshold that Adams and Union Counites have achieved, but they did not meet a second qualifying threshold - that precipitation levels indicate an average of 40 percent or greater loss of normal precipitation for the 4 most recent months, plus the days in the current month before the date of request. So the Iowa FSA appealed this second rainfall requirement by submitting additional information and received national office approval.
Eleven counties are automatically eligible because they are classified as “D-2 Severe Drought” (or greater) counties in the drought monitor map from USDA. The 11 counites include: Taylor; Ringgold; Decatur; Wayne; Appanoose; Davis; Van Buren; Lee; Monroe; Wapello; and Jefferson. Appanoose, Davis and Van Buren are classified as “D-3 Extreme Drought” counties.
Two other counties - Clay and Dickinson - were also previously eligible due to excessive rainfall.
Emergency haying is authorized for a single period through August 31. Emergency grazing is authorized for a single period through September 30 for qualifying. Acreage eligible for managed or emergency haying and grazing includes acreage devoted to the following practices: CP1, CP2, CP4B, CP4D, CP10, CP18B, CP18C, and CP38 in certain states. Producers in authorized counites interested in emerging haying and grazing of CRP fields should contact their county FSA office to obtain a modified conservation plan developed by NRCS or a technical service provider.
In addition, the number of counties that are now considered "natural disaster counties" (or they are contiguous to such designated counties) due to drought, hail or flooding, has increased to 23. This status allows producers in these counties to receive emergency loans, if they otherwise qualify. These counties include: Lyon, Osceola, Winnebago, Worth, Fremont, Page, Taylor, Ringgold, Decatur, Wayne, Lucas, Marion, Mahaska, Keokuk, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Lee, Van Buren, Davis, Wapello, Monroe, Appanoose. Again, contact your county FSA office for details.
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