U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator John Thune (R-SD) sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) to support farmers and ranchers affected by this year’s drought by quickly authorizing the emergency haying and grazing flexibility on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres and providing assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

“As drought conditions worsen across the upper Midwest, farmers and ranchers in our states are concerned that certain CRP acres that are eligible for emergency haying and grazing under D2 conditions may not be authorized in time to prevent the most significant losses,” the Senators wrote. “In 2021, ELAP played a critical role in assisting producers who faced losses due to the drought. We appreciated USDA’s efforts to improve ELAP coverage by reimbursing producers for a portion of their feed and livestock transportation costs and by lowering the threshold for assistance for water transportation costs. Therefore, we also urge USDA to again prioritize timely ELAP assistance for affected producers.”

“It is critically important that USDA make technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and ranchers recover and move quickly to make disaster programs available to affected producers during difficult times,” the Senators continued.