Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune announced today that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner will open additional CRP acres to haying and grazing. During a phone conversation today, Mr. Conner informed Thune that in addition to the counties approved to be opened last week, CRP acres within 150 miles from any approved county will also be available.

"As farmers and ranchers continue to deal with devastating conditions in South Dakota I appreciate the USDA working to provide assistance in a timely manner," said Thune. "The early release of CRP was a vital step to providing real relief and this most recent opening will provide additional options for producers to feed their livestock. As I traveled to these drought afflicted counties the producers were stressing the importance of this type of directive as there is very little hay in the declared counties. This grass will provide much needed quality hay and forage for livestock."

Farmers and ranchers that would cross the border into another state to take advantage of this expansion must work with the FSA officials in that state for approval. Only livestock operations located in approved counties are eligible for emergency haying or grazing of CRP acreage. CRP participants who do not own or lease livestock may rent or lease the grazing privilege to an eligible producer in an approved county.

"Agriculture is the number one industry in South Dakota and I am committed to working to provide relief that will help continue the tradition of family farm and ranches," said Thune.