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Legislative Update (7-22-21)

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Neighbor,

With many livestock producers facing significant challenges with the drought our state is facing, I want to pass along some information from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources that may be of help regarding options for haying and grazing land enrolled in the Re-Invest in Minnesota conservation easement program. 

Below is from an email I received from BWSR:


While stand-alone RIM easements are not included or affected by USDA emergency haying and grazing guidelines, there may be cases where partial haying or grazing could benefit the existing grass cover and provide some additional cattle forage. In these instances, District staff can request permission to hay or graze RIM easements.

Things to consider before submitting requests:

  • Sites that have recently been planted and have not fully established should be avoided.
  • Mechanical haying low areas can cause rutting that may impact sites and make the possibility of future maintenance or haying difficult.
  • Check sites for avoidance areas.
  • Explain plans in detail with producer so that those activities do not adversely impact the cover.

With the end of the nesting season fast approaching on August 1, many landowners/producers will want to move quickly. When sending requests for haying and grazing permissions, please include a map along with a draft unsigned agreement for our review. The Vegetation Enhancement: Haying and Grazing Agreement can be located here and requests can be directed to John Voz at john.voz@state.mn.us. More information can be found here.

Additional Considerations

  • USDA-NRCS WRE program: land enrolled in this program may be available to hay/graze if the landowner is amenable to the management activity and program requirements allow.
  • USDA-NRCS EQIP program: funds may be available in next Federal Fiscal Year for activities such as fencing, watering infrastructure, etc.

Contact your local USDA Service Center for more information on USDA-NRCS programs.


I hope this helps and, as always, let me know if there's anything I can do to assist you.

-Steve

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