Ag Secretary okays emergency haying in six Montana counties

Secretary also tells Senators USDA will lower rental payments on CRP land

(RED LODGE, Mont.) – Following a request yesterday by Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture this afternoon allowed emergency haying on CRP land in six Montana counties.

The new status applies to CRP land in Sheridan, Richland, Blaine, Dawson, Glacier and Phillips Counties. Also at the Senators’ request, Schafer said he will lower the penalty for emergency haying and grazing on CRP land in those counties from 25 percent of what the government pays per acre to 10 percent.

Due to drought conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month allowed emergency grazing on CRP land in the six northern and eastern Montana counties.

CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land is land that ranchers and farmers set aside to restore wildlife and water habitat, in exchange for compensation from the federal government.