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#1501400 - 08/24/08 08:45 PM
New CRP rules???
Wanderer Online   optimist
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 3222
Loc: Isanti, MN
I've tried to keep up with understanding the ins and outs of CRP restrictions but I can't recall if the new contracts allow for haying or if the landowner had to enroll in a different program to allow haying. Does someone have some input?

The basis for my question:
We were at our lease Saturday setting up stands, counting pheasants, and target shooting with the kids. At the end of the day we were suprised by a tractor mowing down the best grass on the property.

We asked the operator (not the landowner) what was up? He paid for the hay and was going to take it all. 200 acres of the 360 we lease. He had to stay 500 feet from the ditches.

Talk about taking the wind out of your sails! Further, the BIG trees have been harvested also. The 4-6 foot diameter beasts. Things are a changing.

All I know is the landowner supposedly re-uped his CRP contract last year. Now all this. Without even a mention to us what he's been planning.

It's his land - so not our place to call the shots, but we did/do have an arrangement for huntable land.
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#1501406 - 08/24/08 08:51 PM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Wanderer]
MinnesotaMongo Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 1125
Loc: Mankato
That just sucks. Everybody's been mowing, baling like crazy around Mankato as well. Forget what the rules say about when to mow ditches - let'er rip. I love Minnesota, but when it comes to Ag, they cast a blind eye toward most things, it seems.

I was out in SD recently - and the difference in Wildlife is telling - even in Eastern SD. They were out combining wheat and the pheasants were running like the Velociraptors running through the fields in Jurassic Park....
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#1501413 - 08/24/08 08:57 PM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Wanderer]
Scott M Online   slaphappy
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 05/31/04
Posts: 8186
Loc: Little Bohemia
USDS plan will open CRP acres to haying, grazing

by Jeff Caldwell
Agriculture Online News and Features Editor


You'll soon be able to graze or put up bales on your CRP acres.

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer announced Tuesday that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres will be opened up to livestock grazing or a single cutting for feed.

In his Tuesday announcement, Schafer was quick to point out that this designation is not an early opt-out window for farmers looking to throw acres back into crop production, neither is it a limited to a specific targeted area, like emergency grazing allowed after drought or other natural disasters.

"This authorization does not constitute an early opt-out of CRP contracts. However, it does allow producers nationwide to either hay CRP acres once or allow livestock grazing, either for their own use or to help their neighbors," Schafer said Tuesday. "I also want to distinguish this critical use of CRP acreage from emergency haying and grazing provisions that we've allowed before. These programs are limited to producers in counties that have been severely impacted by drought or natural disasters. This critical use of CRP however is being extended to all eligible producers across the nation."

The Secretary added the forage made available through this move -- from an estimated 24 million CRP acres -- will total around 18 million tons and be worth about $1.2 billion for livestock producers. And, he said, it won't harm the benefits of CRP to the land. The land won't be eligible for haying and grazing until after the "primary nesting season for grass-nesting birds has finished," Schafer said. "Most nesting seasons end in late July or early August, and the critical use for haying and grazing must end by November 10 of this year.

"It will significantly increase the amount of feed available to the livestock industry while still maintaining CRP's environmental benefits," Schafer added. "In fact there are many circumstances where removing some of the grass cover will actually help increase wildlife diversity. It will also provide long-term benefits for wildlife in the area."

What it means

Reactions to USDA's CRP announcement ranged widely. Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA) said the CRP change will "assist those producers who have been struggling due to feed prices." Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey praised the decision for its potential help to cattle farmers in his state whose bottom lines are bleeding capital because of high feed prices.

"While the primary impact will be on cattlemen, this has the potential to replace some corn that can be used by other livestock producers," Northey said Wednesday. "There is no doubt that the higher prices for corn and soybeans have impacted Iowans raising livestock."

But, not everyone in the industry is pleased with Tuesday's USDA CRP designation. The plan, according to National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) executive director of legislative affairs Colin Woodall, doesn't reduce CRP payments where grazing or haying on program acres will be permitted. As such, it puts farmers who obtain forage from sources other than CRP at an unfair disadvantage, Woodall said Tuesday.

"This is just the wrong solution. Any CRP relief plan must maintain a level playing field for all farmers and ranchers, and put land back into production in a meaningful way," he said. "NCBA policy favors conservation programs that make every effort to keep agricultural land in production. To do that, USDA needs to do more than just tweak CRP around the edges. The cattle industry is facing historic economic difficulty as a result of the federal government's competing policy goals.

"Tremendous pressure is being placed on our rapidly shrinking supply of agricultural land, and today's action just temporarily sidesteps the problem," Woodall added.

What's it mean for farmers? One Agriculture Online Farm Business Talk member says it will likely cause him to change some of his acreage decisions. "I guess I'll plant more corn...do not need the hay ground since the government turned CRP loose after nesting season," writes 333rancher.


Kind of a bummer IMO. It's the reason you see so much roadside getting baled up this year. A free market should dictate what is planted and what a crop is worth. Instead we have some seriously artificially inflated prices and nobody wants to plant alfalfa, so there is a bailout by opening up CRP.
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#1501415 - 08/24/08 08:59 PM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Scott M]
Scott M Online   slaphappy
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 05/31/04
Posts: 8186
Loc: Little Bohemia
Also, I was once told the August 1 roadside mowing date was a suggestion and not a rule. Once upon a time I tried searching for it in the state statutes online but couldn't find anything.

Can anyone else shed some light on this?
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#1501606 - 08/25/08 06:24 AM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Scott M]
sparcebag Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 06/18/06
Posts: 4359
Loc: Minn
da_... Aug 1st is what the counties here generally go by but not all ditches.As for mowing their doing it to CRP around here,Say its for cheaper feed cause of high fuel prices,Some conservation group has filed suit aganist it and a judge ruled all but what was registered to cut at that time must stop..you must apply to cut and no more registrations are accepted till it goes through court.
One stroke of our govts pen and it takes months of court rulings to halt a foolish mistake?
Why pay to leave it and then let it be hayed????
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#1501923 - 08/25/08 10:03 AM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: sparcebag]
Tom7227 Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 4188
Loc: White Bear Lake
After reading this I did a quick check and found the following from the Feds:

I frankly can't make sense out of it but it would appear that it requires some sort of disaster determination. I guess the other issue is who enforces it? It would seem that if local farmers are doing it and some group of locals has to enforce it then the likelihood of action on a violation would be rare.

As for the starting note - it seems that your guy screwed you on the lease deal. You thought you were getting X and now you have X - a lot. I suspect the only way around this would be a more detailed lease and also suspect that if you wanted to require that the ground not be hayed then you'd have to pay something close to the value of the hay he isn't going to have, which would likely be very pricey.

I also found this, which is a list of counties that can allow haying in MN

States and Counties Allowed to graze CRP Acres

Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Martin, Mower, Nobles, Olmstead, Rock, Steele, Waseca, Winona

Edited by Tom7227 (08/25/08 10:06 AM)
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#1502105 - 08/25/08 11:43 AM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Tom7227]
Wanderer Online   optimist
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 3222
Loc: Isanti, MN
Thank you guys for posting that information! I think the article da_chise posted was one that I read when it was published - just couldn't remember the details.

Now, one article says it can be hayed once and the other in the link stated once in three years. I'm wondering what the true rate is.

The CRP contract is for 10 years if I'm not mistaken. So it could get hayed 1 time, 3 times, or 10 times during the contract?

Of course this is supposed to be for drought relief. Isn't there almost always an area in the ag regions of the midwest that is in drought?

Legally, the landowner gets a wash for income. He had to apply for permission to have it hayed and then take a 25% reduction in payment for the CRP. That was coincidently the price quoted by the guy taking the hay. "25% of the CRP payment".

More to come when the landowner returns home - and our call.
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#1507088 - 08/29/08 07:20 AM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Wanderer]
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 5128
Loc: Willmar, MN
Sounds like an absentee landowner that is trying to maximize his income by leasing out the hunting rights, harvesting the timber, and selling the CRP hay. Not much you can do about it except tell him to stick it when your hunting lease expires.
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#1507952 - 08/29/08 08:32 PM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: BLACKJACK]
sparcebag Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 06/18/06
Posts: 4359
Loc: Minn
If I'm not mistaken the bush policy now that ethanol is increasing feed prices,through his AG dept. started this haying 5-6 months ago to save farmers money,By mowing with a permit obtained through local soil Mgnt agencies,Only after all upland bird nesting activites have ended,any approved CRP acres can be hayed.
First post wasnt clear,Thats why some conservation groups are suing and a judge did halt all permits from being granted until its settled.The permits already granted before the suit can be hayed.
The artical was in the westcentral saturday paper 3-4 or so weeks ago,on the farm page.
there was also mention if haying was to be done next year and consective years a new permit has to be obtained each year.
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#1543546 - 10/01/08 01:00 PM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: sparcebag]
Wanderer Online   optimist
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 3222
Loc: Isanti, MN

Its been tough to get a good, detailed conversation with the landowner. There always seems to be somebody around that doesn't need to hear it. But it just plain looks like a good run has come to an end.

The land is going back into production. The landowner is leasing the farming rights to someone else and he is currently prepping the land for next year's crop.

All the CRP is gone and the stumps of the the big trees are being taken out now to open up more tillable acreage. Very few roosters were sighted last weekend by the one guy in our group who went out there, and NO deer.

Too bad for us I guess. Our best year out there produced 87 birds in the bag over the season. We sure will miss it.
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#1547050 - 10/05/08 12:33 AM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Wanderer]
croixflats Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 5058
Loc: land or sea
Sounds like a round about government subsidy to me.
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#1547097 - 10/05/08 07:44 AM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Wanderer]
ScoutII Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 397
Loc: Belle Plaine,Mn. Usa
Mowing road ditches reduces snow removal costs during the winter. Cuts down on drifting snow. Pheasants do not feed on grass-hay, they use it for cover. Yes maybe they consume some of the seed heads, but the bulk of their food comes from other sources, such as what the combines miss or what grain gets missed by the separator and ends up on the field. A balance of water, food, and cover is what will keep game numbers up. Fence-lines and property lines will still produce plant life animals can use for cover.
I do not think you want someone else telling you how to make or spend your money. We all know what is best for our own needs and we each need to do what is right for our own situation.
Our wildlife has to adapt to our urban sprawl. We take away their food sources when we build houses and gas stations ect. Sometimes the wildlife moves, sometimes they find a substitute food source. We all need to do what we need to do.
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#1547569 - 10/05/08 06:16 PM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: Wanderer]
TrophyEyes Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/13/06
Posts: 1211
Loc: Plymouth
Wanderer we had the same thing happen. We have 340 acres of CRP leased westcentral MN. We showed up to check stands and get the duck blinds/boats set up and we noticed most of the best CRP had been cut. He said that he just focused his efforts around our deer stands. Obviously this is not what we wanted. He killed our chances in some of our best areas and he keeps telling us he is thinking about cutting it all. Personally, if he does that I will call my lawyer for my money back. We had conditions in the contract that prevented him from cutting it unless he was told by the officials that he had to for invasive species of plants, which happend last year on one of the pieces of the property.
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#1548383 - 10/06/08 12:54 PM
Re: New CRP rules??? [Re: TrophyEyes]
Wanderer Online   optimist
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 3222
Loc: Isanti, MN
Well, I've been reading about the habitat concerns with the CRP contracts expiring and the commodity prices rising. It's happening in many areas. I just wish it wasn't "our" area as you do yours. Good luck.

So, to Scout II, I should assure you that I believe the landowners well being is far more important than my recreational hunting. Thats why I say "Too bad for us".

My original post was a question to gather some information since I wasn't able to speak to the landowner at that time or for some time to come. Just trying to figure out what was laying in the future as I was hoping to bring the kids out there some more.

This is something we non-landowners have to deal with. Not knowing when or how things are going to change.
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