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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Rep. Swedzinski urges more CRP haying and grazing amid drought

Wednesday, July 7, 2021


ST. PAUL – State Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, issued a letter to state and federal leaders Wednesday urging them to expand emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres. 

Approximately 30 counties in Minnesota are eligible for emergency haying and grazing rules on CRP lands based on current conditions. Swedzinski is urging Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, Minnesota Farm Service Agency Executive Director Michelle Page and the state’s congressional members to revisit this issue and further expand this latitude to include the counties he represents - Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Redwood and Yellow Medicine - and beyond, as warranted.

In his letter, Swedzinski notes an abnormally dry June throughout much of Minnesota is now impacting pastures in our state and may soon force cattle farmers to sell livestock or make other difficult decisions before they run out of grass for grazing. He said roughly half of Minnesota’s pasture and range land is in very poor or poor condition, and that we have reached the point where additional rain received may slightly aid regrowth but is unlikely to provide substantial benefits to this year’s crop.

Swedzinski indicated opening more CRP lands for haying and grazing would ease a more recent issue that has added to the burden felt by many over the past year.

“Farmers, the agriculture industry, and our society in general have faced extraordinary challenges the last year and a half as we continue working to overcome obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Swedzinski wrote in his letter. “The simple action of allowing haying and grazing on more CRP lands in the counties I represent would provide great relief to farmers in our area and provide more Minnesotans with a sense our government is working alongside them to help withstand this latest burden.” 

The full text of the letter from Swedzinski can be found at