U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Mark Samson announced nine Idaho counties have been authorized for emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres due to drought.

The following counties are approved for emergency CRP haying until Aug. 31, 2015 and for grazing through Sept. 30, 2015: Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah, Latah, Clearwater, Nez Perce, Lewis and Idaho Counties.

“Idaho FSA is making every effort to offer assistance for farmers and ranchers during this tough production year. Emergency haying and grazing as well as the livestock forage disaster assistance program can help relieve the burden of losses suffered due to the unique weather Idaho has experienced,” said Samson.

The CRP emergency haying and grazing authorization for 2015 went into effect on Aug. 12, 2015. Haying must be completed by Aug. 31, 2015 and grazing livestock must be removed from the CRP acres by Sept. 30, 2015.

Producers who wish to hay or graze their CRP contract acres must sign up and be approved in their local FSA office prior to any emergency haying or grazing activities occurring. There is no payment reduction for CRP acres used for haying and grazing under these emergency provisions.

To take advantage of the emergency haying and grazing provisions, authorized producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. CRP participants can donate but are not allowed to sell the hay.

For questions, contact your local FSA office and visit Idaho Farm Service Agency online at www.fsa.usda.gov/id.