WASHINGTON — Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it has adjusted the 2019 haying and grazing date allowing farmers who plant cover crops on prevented planting acres to graze those fields earlier than November 1st:
“For nearly a month, Oklahoma’s farmers were at the mercy of Mother Nature. Countless storms and an unprecedented amount of flooding dramatically changed the lives of Oklahoma’s farmers preventing many from planting the cover crops that many communities so greatly rely on.
The changes announced by USDA’s Risk Management Agency will provide great relief to Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers as well as much needed protection for Oklahoma’s golden crop- winter wheat.”
Background: USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) adjusted the 2019 final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 to help farmers who were prevented from planting because of flooding and excess rainfall this spring. RMA has also determined that silage, haylage and baleage should be treated in the same manner as haying and grazing for this year. Producers can hay, graze or cut cover crops for silage, haylage or baleage on prevented plant acres on or after September 1 and still maintain eligibility for their full 2019 prevented planting indemnity.
Other USDA agencies are also assisting producers with delayed or prevented planting. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the deadline to report prevented plant acres in select counties, and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is holding special sign-ups for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in certain states to help with planting cover crops on impacted lands. Contact your local FSA and NRCS offices to learn more.
–The Office of Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03)
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