Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey last week announced that farmers that have Conservation Reserve Program or Wetlands Reserve Program lands available for harvesting of hay can now be included in the Iowa Hay & Straw directory. The change is in response to USDA's recent announcement that both of these conservation programs can now be used for haying and grazing in response to the drought conditions.
"The drought has severely impacted the amount of forage available, so it is good news that USDA has made CRP and WRP lands available for emergency haying and grazing," says Northey. "We hope the directory helps connect farmers that have CRP or WRP lands with those that have livestock and need the feed. It is important that any farmer interested in the emergency haying program should contact their local FSA or NRCS office before proceeding."
Contact your local USDA office before harvesting hay from CRP or WRP land
The authorization for haying and grazing of CRP and WRP became effective on August 2 and haying activities must be completed by August 31, 2012. For more information on haying CRP land, farmers can contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office or visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/. For information on haying WRP land farmers can contact their local USDA National Resource Conservation Service office or visit www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/.
In additional to listing farmers with CRP or WRP lands available, the Iowa Hay & Straw Directory lists producers with hay and straw for sale, as well as organizations and businesses associated with promoting and marketing quality hay and straw.
Farmers interested in listing should visit state ag department's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov. An application form can be found by going to the "Home Page" and then clicking on the Marketing tab on the top of the page" and then selecting Hay and Straw in the right hand column. This will take you directly to the Hay & Straw Directory.
For those people without Internet access, please call the Hay/Straw Hotline at 800-383-5079. The Iowa Department of Agriculture will fax or send a printed copy of the application to be filled out.