Emergency Haying, Grazing Permitted In Several Central Washington Counties

Because of the growing drought severity across Central Washington, and the fact the CRP primary nesting season ended July 1st, the Washington State FSA Committee has approved the use of emergency haying and grazing of CRP in Kittitas, Yakima, Grant and Franklin counties.

Producers who are interesting in applying for this option should contact their County FSA Office as soon as possible. FSA must approve your request before you start haying or turn livestock out to graze.  In addition, a revised CRP conservation plan must be obtained from NRCS before FSA can approve your request. Most general signup practices are eligible as are grass filter strips.

The following conditions apply:

  • Emergency haying or grazing is only allowed on established stands which generally occurs 2-3 years after seeding.
  • No haying or grazing is allowed within 20 feet of water.
  • No payment reduction is applied so this fall’s rental payments would be unaffected. 
  • Producers must obtain an emergency haying or grazing plan from NRCS. NRCS will include any restrictions needed, such as stocking rate, leaving some areas unhayed, or areas that must be excluded entirely.
  • If grazing, supplemental feed is not permitted.
  • Grazing will be authorized for 90 days from today, not to exceed Sept 30.
  • Haying will be authorized for 60 days from today, not to exceed August 31.
  • The same acres cannot be hayed and grazed.
  • Any hay harvested cannot be sold.  However, the CRP participant may lease the haying or grazing privileges.  If leased, FSA must be informed of the lessee’s name and the lessee must sign a statement that they will not sublease the rights.
  • If any of the stand is damaged due to the haying or grazing, including high use areas, participants must restore the cover at their own expense.
  • Cost sharing is not available for any costs associated with the haying or grazing such as fence or livestock water.
  • Any acres hayed or grazed under this approval will not be available for managed haying or grazing in 2021.

If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekmedia.com

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