FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2017
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1600
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is authorizing the release of additional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota for emergency haying and grazing. The decision will allow farmers affected by severe drought conditions to hay and graze CRP wetland and buffer practices. In response to the decision, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:
The conditions in the Great Plains this summer are some of the worst we’ve seen. After a harsh winter, hay was already in short supply, and with almost no moisture for months, our members in the Upper Great Plains are hurting. A deteriorating feed supply has forced many ranchers to drive hundreds of miles to purchase hay, while others have already sold their herds.
NFU is grateful for the USDA’s immediate and ongoing action to offer meaningful assistance for farmers and ranchers in the affected areas. In the short term, emergency haying and grazing on CRP land will provide much-needed relief, and in the long term will protect the viability of many of these operations.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.