North Dakota Farmers Union praised USDA’s announcement that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres will be open for emergency haying in North Dakota due to ongoing drought.

Starting July 16 through Aug. 30, counties designated as D2 or greater on the U.S. Drought Monitor will be authorized for haying. Counties with any part of its border located within 150 miles of a county eligible for emergency haying of CRP is also eligible, according to the Farm Service Agency.

NDFU President Mark Watne issued the following statement:

“We appreciate this action by USDA to expand available forage for livestock producers dealing with drought. Many ranchers have had to downsize their herds already and the ripple effect will be felt in our depressed farm economy. This action by the Secretary (Sonny Perdue) will help alleviate short-term forage needs. But we still need rain.”

Watne also praised North Dakota’s congressional delegation for their efforts to expand the opening of CRP acres. NDFU signed on to a letter earlier with National Farmers Union, urging the Secretary of Agriculture to address the significant drought situation in the Upper Great Plains.