USDA Update March 23, 2021

Agriculture USDA Service Center Update
Published Tuesday, March 23, 2021
by Eads USDA Service Center Staff

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • CRP General CRP signup #56 - Extended indefinitely
  • PRIMARY NESTING SEASON - March 15 - July 15
  • CRP EMERGENCY GRAZING AVAILABLE - Contact the FSA Office if interested.  

Disclaimer:  Information in this UPDATE is pertinent to Kiowa County FSA only.  Producers reading this and that do not have FSA interest in Kiowa County are advised to contact their local FSA Office. 

THE USDA SERVICE CENTER HAS A DROP BOX AVAILABLE ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE BUILDING.  

SERVICE CENTER STAFFING

The Service Center received notification last week that all Service Centers nationwide will allow only 50% of the staff to work in the Service Center during the work week.  In Kiowa County, that allows all Service Center employees to work in the office, during office hours.  

Visitors are not allowed into the Service Center at this time.  

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR

Maps from the U.S. Drought Monitor for the weeks of March 9 and March 16 reflect that drought conditions in the state have changed.  

Locally, the map from this past week, March 16, reflect the portion in central Kiowa County that was rated a D4, exceptional drought has been moved to a D3, extreme drought and the balance of the county is rated at a D2, severe drought. 

2021-03-20_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_march_16_2021_-_national_drought_mitigation_center.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - March 16, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center
Colorado Drought Conditions - March 16, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center

Hopefully, the drought conditions on the ground continue to align with the published Drought Monitor map.     

PRIMARY NESTING SEASON

The annual CRP primary nesting season began last Monday, March 15 and will be in effect until July 15.  During the primary nesting season, the only activity that is authorized on CRP contracts is FSA approved CRP Emergency Grazing, at a reduced stocking rate.  

Seeding or re-seeding of permanent grass cover is authorized during primary nesting season through April 30th; this is due to the fact that permanent cover has not been established.  

Contract management practices of disking, harrowing or inter-seeding cannot be completed during the primary nesting season.  

CRP EMERGENCY GRAZING DURING PRIMARY NESTING SEASON

Many counties in Colorado are eligible for Emergency grazing of eligible CRP acres.  If interested in Emergency grazing of CRP; we encourage producers to contact your local FSA office for more information.  

Producers who request to graze during the primary nesting season, which is March 15 through July 15 must do the following before grazing can be approved:

Call the FSA office to begin the necessary paperwork.  

NRCS personnel will need to make a field visit to determine if the land can sustain grazing.  

NOTE:  if the contract was grazed in 2020; most likely the permanent cover cannot sustain grazing.  

If the contract is approved for grazing, the CRP contract participants and the producer with the livestock must sign paperwork at the FSA Office. Grazing plans will be written at 50% stocking rate during primary nesting.  

Grazing may commence when the producer receives a phone call from FSA personnel that the grazing has been approved. Official notification in writing will follow.  

NOTE:  If NRCS determines the grazing cannot sustain grazing, CRP producers will be notified.  

Haying is not authorized during PNS or primary nesting season. 

Ineligible acres are: SAFE or State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement acres.   In Kiowa those are acres enrolled into the Lesser Prairie Chicken SAFE CRP program. 

AT NO TIME CAN FEEDING OF BALES BE ALLOWED ON THE CRP ACRES.

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