Montana's persistent drought climate has opened many additional Conservation Reserve Program lands for emergency grazing and haying.
The Montana Farm Service Agency announces that the USDA designation includes the following land use options for ranchers:
CP8A, Grass Waterway, Noneasement
CP23 andCP23A, Wetland Restorations
CP25, Rare and Declining Habitat
CP27 and CP28, Farmable Wetlands Pilot Wetland and Buffer
CP37, Duck Nesting Habitat
CP41, FWP Flooded Prairie Wetlands
"Montana has about 200,000 additional acres of CRP that will now be available for haying and grazing to help livestock producers get through the severe drought conditions," says Bruce Nelson, Montana FSA executive director.
In addition to the CRP action, the Montana FSA announces that Rosebud and Powder River counties have been approved for Emergency Conservation Program assistance due to wildfire losses. The following summarizes the EC practices authorized:
EC3, Restoring Permanent Fences.
EC4, Restoring Conservation Structures and Other Installations
EC7, Other Emergency Conservation Measures
Also in Montana, a presidential major disaster declaration has triggered FSA emergency loans for the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation citizens, Powder River, Rosebud and in eight contiguous
The declaration, linked to wildfires in these areas, includes the contiguous counties of Big Horn, Carter, Custer, Garfield, Musselshell, Petroleum, Treasure and Yellowstone. In addition are three other contiguous counties: Campbell, Creek and Sheridan.
"The presidential major disaster declaration triggers eligibility for FSA's Emergency Loans for producers who suffered either a 30% production loss or sustained physical losses to livestock, buildings or real estate caused by the wildfires" which hit between June 25 and July 10, says Nelson.
Interest on emergency loans was reduced recently to 2.25% to further help struggling producers. The maximum loan amount is $500,000, and producers have eight months to apply under the declaration.
The money may be used for:
Restoration or replacement of essential property
To pay all or part of the production costs associated with the disaster year.
To pay for essential family living expenses
To refinance debts, excluding real estate
For more information, contact your local FSA office, or visit online at www.fsa.usda.gov/mt.