07/25/12 Tuesday, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the release of emergency haying and grazing for all Indiana counties, Congressman Joe Donnelly released the following statement.

“The drought has caused Indiana’s fields to suffer, limiting the food options for the livestock that rely on crops from those fields for food,” said Donnelly. “Opening emergency haying and grazing for all Indiana counties will give farmers more flexibility as they seek to provide adequate hay and forage to feed their livestock.”

With this announcement, all Indiana CRP acres are open for emergency haying and grazing practices outside the primary nesting season for wildlife. This decision was based on the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Farmers interested in emergency grazing of CRP should request written approval from the local FSA office before grazing the acreage. Under previous openings, farmers would have received a 25 percent annual payment reduction for CRP acres used for emergency grazing, but Secretary Vilsack recently announced that they will only receive a 10 percent reduction.

In late June, Donnelly and three of his Republican colleagues in the Indiana congressional delegation, Congressman Todd Rokita , Congressman Larry Bucshon, and Congressman Mike Pence, sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack urging him to promptly consider a request for emergency haying and grazing to aid the Hoosier agricultural industry. To read the letter that Donnelly and his Republican colleagues sent to the Secretary of Agriculture, please click here.