House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota issued the following statement Thursday regarding an announcement by USDA’s Risk Management Agency to move the final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 and to also allow chopping for silage, haylage, and baleage under RMA’s prevented planting provisions. An earlier deadline will significantly increase the quantity and quality of feed available to livestock producers.
USDA also announced that the Farm Service Agency will be extending the deadline to report prevented planting acres in select counties, and that the Natural Resources Conservation Service will hold special sign-ups for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to provide cost-share assistance in the planting of cover crops on impacted land.
“Farmers are in need of options and common-sense flexibility given this year’s disaster situation, where we have millions of acres of farm and rangeland impacted. The changes announced today by USDA will go a long way toward providing farmers and livestock producers with options to address the forage situation in many parts of the country. After hearing from hundreds of farmers at a town hall meeting, I urged the Secretary to make this change, and I appreciate the willingness of Secretary Perdue to provide this relief to farmers and ranchers.”