Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Haying CRP

 It has been moderately dry in GriggsDakota for several months.
 Other areas, nearby and distant, have been extremely dry.
So ranchers are being allowed to hay or graze Conservation Reserve Program , commonly referred to as CRP acres this year during the month of August. 
My sister, as the youngest in our family often quoted God when she wanted something. 
"God said, Share what you have," she would admonish her older siblings.
 She trained us well.
There's a lot of hay on the CRP ground. This is a big help to Cattleman Jim and other ranchers in the area who have had dry pastures and empty waterholes for most of the Summer. 
I like the words conservation and reserve. It implies that we are being careful and keeping something for a rainy day. Of course, if it were rainy, we wouldn't have to hay the CRP. Happily, our little rains have made some of our CRP acres into fine hay land.
As I understand it, a rancher can hay up to half of a CRP tract and pay 10% of the landowner's payment. If the rancher chooses to hay an entire tract, the cost is 25% of the payment.
The hay is worth far more than that. For many, it is the difference between staying in business or selling out.  
The arrangements are made through the area Farm Service Area offices where knowledgeable staff members lead farmers and ranchers through the process. 
Landowners give permission, the paperwork is done though the office and the rancher can make the payment for use through the office. It makes it easy for everyone involved. 
Nesting season is over and the fawns and other mammals are up and running. No danger to wildlife during August. 
 It is good for the CRP to be cut or clipped occasionally for weed control.
It is nice to have a little something to share. 
Something in reserve, conserved for a rainy day. 
The rainy days that we haven't had enough of this year. 
But we will do our best to get by in GriggsDakota.

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