Spurred by advances in the price of most field crops to record or near-record levels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made certain acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program available for harvesting hay and grazing this growing season.

Spurred by advances in the price of most field crops to record or near-record levels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made certain acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program available for harvesting hay and grazing this growing season.

 Tim Dreier, Nodaway County Farm Service Agency executive director, said this week "CRP participants can request to use CRP acreage for critical feed use." The program became effective June 2.

"CRP participants can use their own acreage for haying or grazing or lease the privilege to other producers," Dreier said. "Participants who choose to exercise this option will be required to pay a $75 per contract administrative fee and will not be assessed a payment reduction from their annual rental payments."

Dreier said the adjusted program "should be very popular around here, considering that we typically run short of hay."

In notifying FSA field offices of the change, John Johnson, USDA deputy administrator for farm programs, noted, "Prices for most field crops have advanced in recent months, reflecting strong demand, tight supplies and competition for acres.

"The increased demand for commodities and the resulting higher prices have impacted the livestock industry," he added.

Crop prices are projected to moderate somewhat, but not until next year, as production increases in the United States and around the world. "However, assuming no global recession, demand is not expected to slow noticeably," Johnson said.

Dreier said utilizing CRP ground to increase the potential for hay should help to ease the extra costs to livestock producers resulting from higher corn prices.

Program participants will not be allowed to use the same acreage for both hay and grazing and at least half of each field must be left unhayed, Dreier said. All hay must be removed from the CRP acreage and grazing curtailed by Nov. 10.

Complete provisions for the program can be obtained by contacting the Nodaway County FSA office at 660-582-7423 or online at www.fsa.usda.gov.   

Maryville Daily Forum