Colleen Cashell, executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency in Washington County announced Monday that USDA has approved Conservation Reserve Program participants and eligible livestock producers in Washington County for emergency haying and grazing of approved CRP cool and warm season grass acres as a result of this year's drought conditions.
Also, parts of Frederick County and Calvert, Montgomery, St. Mary's, Somerset, and Worcester counties were approved in Maryland.
"Approximately 687 acres of CRP in Washington County will be eligible to be hayed or grazed, however these acres have been affected by the drought and most likely will not be productive," Cashell said.
However, eligible livestock producers within the approved counties may conduct emergency haying and grazing of eligible CRP acreage from an eligible CRP participant in an expanded area within 210 miles of a county approved for emergency haying and grazing, she said.
The CRP participant must be willing to provide hay or haying and grazing under Emergency Haying and Grazing provisions and will be assessed a 10 percent reduction in their annual rental payment, Cashell said. CRP participants cannot rent or lease the haying and grazing privilege for an amount greater than the applicable payment reduction, she said.