Why CRP is Disappearing

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Why CRP is Disappearing

I just fulfilled my weed control obligation to uncle sam for my CRP acres and the per acre cost with the anti drift, adhering agent, the chemical, and the aerial application (due to wet ground, ground equipment couldn't be used) came to $22.40 per acre.   The contract I signed back in '98 allowed $3 per acre for weed control.   That comes out to over a 700% increase in costs.  Just some insight into some of the causes.  This one's gonna leave a mark. 

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I would think the increase of cash rent is also a reason.     Greedy land owners.

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"Unarmed helplessness is for sheep and the French."  Ted Nugent

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3XGutshot Said:
I would think the increase of cash rent is also a reason.     Greedy land owners.

With input costs like this I can't afford to be greedy. 

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kdm,

Have you sprayed every acre each year since you put it into CRP?

And, have you calculated the costs of ground application in those years you were able to use that?

Just curious as this would be a really miserable cost of having CRP if it were to be annual.  

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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Hey allen, the spraying is based on whether or not the weeds show up.   I have had to spray 5 times in the last 8 years.  3 years with ground equipment ($9 per acre) and 2 with aerial equipment ($14 per acre and this one at 22).  The difference was using 2,4,d (14) and milestone (22).  Darn Wormwood.  That crap costs me more than anything else.  I swear 5 new plants sprout for every one I kill.  BTW, This was not a complaint post, just a little insight into the CRP situation. 

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Much of the CRP was highly erodable when it was put in 20 years ago. With the no-till that almost everyone does now this land can now be farmed and not worry about the erosion factor. By the way, if everyone that thinks you need CRP to have wildlife, you can come take a look at our place. We don''t have CRP for miles and have plenty of nesting birds and deer in our fields and prairie. We take care of the land and have been no-till since '99.

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kdm, not trying to be a smart aleck or anything here, was really just curious.

I would have thought that spraying CRP would be a bit more infrequent than your example.

I swear, I know a lot of CRP acres that have never had an ounce of spray on them.  Must be organic farming operations.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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We just inhereted some land and were able to continue the CRP on that land through the year 2022.    Wasn't sure that was an option until we got with the county.  Gonna go look at the land tomorrow and check weeds, ect......

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Allen, I am just lucky to have some non farmland next to my place that doesn't get much attention.  It's kind of like the neighbor with all the dandelions that keep showing up in your yard, even though you spray for them.  Sucks to be me I guess.  

campcook
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worm weeds a bitch, canadian thistle runs a close second.  I've sprayed the last 3 years and will probably clip this year.  Would have been a win/win all around had I been able to mow/hay 2 years ago.  Some moron decided haying CRP was detrimental to wildlife.  When are we going to recognize stupidity for what it is and tell Washington to shove it?

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campcook Said:
worm weeds a bitch, canadian thistle runs a close second.  I've sprayed the last 3 years and will probably clip this year.  Would have been a win/win all around had I been able to mow/hay 2 years ago.  Some moron decided haying CRP was detrimental to wildlife.  When are we going to recognize stupidity for what it is and tell Washington to shove it?

Absinthe wormwood is a really tough SOB.  I have been fighting a bunch of it for a few years now.  Seems like the standard 2-4D and glyphosate treatments have only really killed off its competition.

If you find a ready solution, let me know.  I could sure use one.

At least I am able to mow mine. 

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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We have used Tordon on wormwood and it works good.  It is restricted use so you have to be careful.  You can't be close to trees or it will kill them and you should be away from water too.  Like campcook said, nothing beats haying every three years, but that was taken away from us.  Not being able to hay is the main reason our crp is all out.

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I'm not crop/ag expert but wouldn't it make sense to hay about a 1/3 or 1/4 of the acreage every year to help prevent all the dead crap?

"The only enemy of guns is rust and politicians."

"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."

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"Unarmed helplessness is for sheep and the French."  Ted Nugent

"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
 -Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
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3X   It makes a lot of sense but we are dealing with the NWF and the USDA on this and they don't always do things that make sense.
Haying or grazing crp every third or fourth year should not only have been allowed but it should have been mandatory.  It would get rid of many weed problems and clean up the old dead grass mat on the ground.

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Two more years on the contract and I'm out.   Bingo1 hit it right on the head.  I don't plan on taking it out of the grass cover ever, but once I am out from under the govt. rule mill, then I will be able to hay it on a sensible schedule when it will: 

1.  be much better forage for cattle instead of dead, dry sticks and weed stems;
2.  be in time to knock the weeds down;
3.  be able to recover in time to provide some cover from winters fury.

No more govt. programs for me.....I will sink or swim on my own thoughtful sensibilities.... not govt subsidies.  Nobody to blame but myself then. 

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we took our land out 3 years ago start haying around the 15th of julyhave good hay and great wild life sp for our farm no more crp

DDriessen
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Bacon...I don't believe your post and I would like nothing better than to come to your place and check out the wildlife.  How does the weekends of September, October, November, and the first 3 weeks of December look?  Want to make sure I conduct a thurough investigation of the wildlife present on your place. 

And for those having issues with wormwood.  A controlled back burn (slow and hot) should do the trick on that stuff and it won't hurt the other broadleafs in your CRP stand.  Gotta have the right conditions, but a good back burn takes that crap right out.

Dan

Take a kid hunting instead of hunting for your kid.

First I am a Dad, then a husband, then a hunter.  Sometimes I get the husband and hunter mixed up, but luckily my wife remembers what order they should be in. :-)

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DDriessen Said:

Bacon...I don't believe your post and I would like nothing better than to come to your place and check out the wildlife.  How does the weekends of September, October, November, and the first 3 weeks of December look?  Want to make sure I conduct a thurough investigation of the wildlife present on your place. 

And for those having issues with wormwood.  A controlled back burn (slow and hot) should do the trick on that stuff and it won't hurt the other broadleafs in your CRP stand.  Gotta have the right conditions, but a good back burn takes that crap right out.

Dan

Backburn hell, I'm gonna hit that sh!t with the big bertha as soon as I find some time to fill the old propane tank.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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3XGutshot Said:
I would think the increase of cash rent is also a reason.     Greedy land owners.

This ins't about greed.

I bet you would want every dollar you could get too.

How about you sell me your pickup for 1/2 price.

Its about getting what the land is worth and aparently CRP isn't doing the job.

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campcook Said:
worm weeds a bitch, canadian thistle runs a close second.  I've sprayed the last 3 years and will probably clip this year.  Would have been a win/win all around had I been able to mow/hay 2 years ago.  Some moron decided haying CRP was detrimental to wildlife.  When are we going to recognize stupidity for what it is and tell Washington to shove it?

bingo1 Said:
3X   It makes a lot of sense but we are dealing with the NWF and the USDA on this and they don't always do things that make sense.
Haying or grazing crp every third or fourth year should not only have been allowed but it should have been mandatory.  It would get rid of many weed problems and clean up the old dead grass mat on the ground.

As has been discussed on here before USDA has always wanted to allow the haying of CRP on a rotational basis or extreme emergency circumstances affecting the landowners on the contracts. It was the NWF that filed the lawsuits to prevent or limit  that from happening. And as a result it HAS contributed to CRP contracts not being renewed. A short sighted "our way or the hiway" approach by a "conservation" group is one factor in CRP disappearing.

bingo1 Said:
We have used Tordon on wormwood and it works good.  It is restricted use so you have to be careful.  You can't be close to trees or it will kill them and you should be away from water too.  Like campcook said, nothing beats haying every three years, but that was taken away from us.  Not being able to hay is the main reason our crp is all out. 

 
There is a fair amount of acres that have been removed from this program because of the last above statement. Now in most cases these acres are either put into crop production or 100% is hayed every year instead of every third year or one third every year. So if any member of the NWF or even the ND chapter NDWF would, explain where the wildlife or conservation benefit is as a result of these lawsuits that changed the parameters of this program that were of a benefit to everyone?

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Milestone sure seems to be doing the trick in my pasture.  It really wiped the wormwood out where i sprayed last year

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widematch or truslate are dynamite on on wormwood. 

Live every day!

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gst Said:.

bingo1 Said:
We have used Tordon on wormwood and it works good.  It is restricted use so you have to be careful.  You can't be close to trees or it will kill them and you should be away from water too.  Like campcook said, nothing beats haying every three years, but that was taken away from us.  Not being able to hay is the main reason our crp is all out. 

 
There is a fair amount of acres that have been removed from this program because of the last above statement. Now in most cases these acres are either put into crop production or 100% is hayed every year instead of every third year or one third every year. So if any member of the NWF or even the ND chapter NDWF would, explain where the wildlife or conservation benefit is as a result of these lawsuits that changed the parameters of this program that were of a benefit to everyone?

I don't have any land in CRP, what is the current haying restriction? Timeline>?

It's not that bad.

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the haying restrictions are every third year on the older contracts can not cut the hay tell after the 1st of august, most of the contracts in the past 4 years do not allow haying but you must controll the weeds  by chemical or "clipping after the 1st of aug"    most of the weeds have gone to seed by then so not really a good choice

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we were the same way,  we hay 1/3 of our crp every year.  well we had some crp and we took ours out 2 years ago since in it was in a different program (of which you could not hay any of it unless it was declared a diseaster year). we have neighbor crp and we hay that had the old contract renewed so we can still hay it (if crp contract was up and you took out a new contract the new rules applied,  if you renewed old contract before it was up old rules still applied.)  NWF have no idea about haying, wild life mang.  at all.  they should let it be hayed the mid of july.  any ducks, that are still hatching are not going to make it by then.  and the stuff we get in aug is all dried up.  and if you look at the crp we hayed the year before its lusch and clean,  and full of wildlife more in that than there is in the old dead crp.  it was mainly this reason we took our crp out, the payment wasnt worth dealing with the gov.  and  the funny thing is the NATIONAL WILD LIFE FED  some how figured out how to control the government.  so like gst said.  it just ticked off the land owners and they control there land they decided to take it out and rent it to farmers or ranchers!!!!! what did there lawsuit accomplish?

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As with anything else in property management, the decisions will be based on the bottom line with respect to profitability.

In today's farming and ranching environment, I can totally see why farmers and ranchers would not enroll in CRP.  It just doesn't seem like the most profitable way to manage the land. 

However, I don't think too many on here can actually say that the rules of CRP changed in the middle of the contract.  I suspect that in the ebb and flow of farming econ, there well may be another time in the future where CRP is very attractive.  Lest we forget, at one point in time there was considerable competition in some areas for getting land enrolled.  From this we should be able to deduce that not all farmers and ranchers were simply tired of farming or haying that land, it was simply more financially attractive at that point to receive a payment for setting the land aside versus the small profit, or maybe even loss they may have received in trying to farm that land.  

Eventually, the land in CRP will be what many thought it should have been in the first place, and that is the marginally productive land.  Lots of good farmland was idled years ago and that is coming out. 

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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Allen, the rules regarding managed haying and grazing did not change mid contract. However the rules regarding emergency haying and grazing did. And the lawsuits by the NWF were responsible for this happening. These times are when the landowner holding the contract most needed the ability to hay or graze CRP in a timely manner and it was denied or delayed to the point of very limited return because of this wildlife/conservation group and their lawsuits. And rememeber, even in these instances no more than 50% of a contract could be hayed, so 50% was left untouched for wildlife. They were also responsible for the changes to the new contract structuring regarding haying and grazing that has prevented many contracts from being renewed. So again, what was the overall benefit to wildlife or conservation by this group pursueing these lawsuits?

As you allude to economics drives most things, and CRP initially drove land rental rates to what the CRP contract would pay. In our area that was $10 to $15 more than what the farmland rental rates were. So at the time you had whole farms going in and many older folks had a retirement plan from farming. Economics and changing methods of farming have for now allowed for a profit to be made on many of these acres above the CRP rates. It remains to be seen if that will continue. However because of this, rental rates have pushed past what CRP was paying. For this program to continue as many sportsman want it to, the payments to take these acres out of production will have to be more lucrative than what can be made by leaving it in production. Where the problem arises is wether these wildlife orgs put enough stipulations on the contracts to make them unattractive unless the dollar amounts paid are so high producers will accept them anyway. And once that happens, rental rates on farmland will follow CRP rates once again.  

The simple fact is in many areas of the country where these CRP acres are in fact marginal productive lands the changes to the haying and grazing stipulations because of the NWF lawsuits have made producers decide to take these lands out of the CRP program, and the benefit to wildlife that leaving 2/3s of these acres idled each year while 1/3 was hayed is no longer there. All because one wildlife group couldn't see past their short sighted agenda. So again, where was the benefit of these lawsuits for wildlife, conservation, producers or hunters?

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Allen Said:
  

Eventually, the land in CRP will be what many thought it should have been in the first place, and that is the marginally productive land.  Lots of good farmland was idled years ago and that is coming out. 

I think that pretty much sums it up.  CRP was abused and taken advantage of.  It went bankrupt and couldn't compete either.  So land started coming out and wildlife agencies got spoiled with it.  They needed to identify the real issue which was the taking advantage of CRP.  Never was it  wildlife program.  Ever.  It was for taking land out of production and also dealing with erosion problems.  If there was to be a wildlife benefit it was incidental (which there was).  If we want a CRP wildlife type program we'll have to rewrite and budget.  Instead of state plot programs there needs to be a federal one or some sort of federal program that works hand in hand with state wildlife agencies and those that need the land to live (ranching for example).  Yup, another tax burden and fight.  Question is, can it be sold and is it responsible?  I think something can be probably achieved.  Heck, the greenies would love it.  They would most likely try to say no hunting on this type of land or something though knowing them...


 

 

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Farnorth
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Was Emergency Haying and Grazing written into the original contracts?  There might certainly be language in subsequent contracts.  There have been changes made over the years and now we have a soup of differing contracts out there.

I see two major problems causing all the strife here.

1.  Very few people thought through the long-term impacts of CRP.  This goes for farmers and ranchers and wildlife groups.  I'm not surprised because we are all typically short -term thinkers about most things.

2.  The people arguing about this don't trust each other. 

If haying and grazing is good for the quality of the CRP and good for wildlife, then why isn't that clear to the NWF?  Maybe Ag interests aren't real good at getting their point across or maybe the NWF is too stubborn.  Maybe both sides would rather fight than discuss it like adults.

If it is a win-win-win for Farm interests, habitat quality, and wildlife, shouldn't this be resolved?  I'm guessing it probably won't as long as the same people are involved in the negotiations (on both sides)

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I suspect that most farmers and ranchers who think haying in early July (when the hay is best cut for quality sake) is also good for the wildlife would change their tune on that if the data on wildlife were presented to them in a manner which they understand.  And I am just going on the belief that the biologists are correct in the detrimental effect that removal of cover at that stage has on eventual survival of the young.  note: my own anecdotal observations are that early July haying in Mountrail county harms grouse and partridge, especially when I ran them over with the mower/swather as they hunkered down in the grass and alfalfa!

Scientists are not always good at breaking down their data into useful information for the public at large, nor are farmers and ranchers very good at translating anecdotal observations into sound science.  Hence, we do tend to arrive at Farnorth's observation of they just seem to like to fight between themselves.

gst is also correct in his observation of CRP rates have driven rental (and land values) up higher than they probably should be.  Not a lot different really than the decision between small grains or row crops that many farmers face each year, they just don't get to choose CRP vs. farming it each year. 

I don't necessarily blame the NWF for their position anymore than I blame the landowners for theirs.  Their position is one of if a part of the contract stipulates wildlife, so if that is a part of the reason for those acres being enrolled one shouldn't expect to be able to make management plans that incorporate haying when we know it has a detrimental effect on wildlife to hay it every year.  Balance is the key here, ranchers should have recognized based on past history that they would need that hay every X of XX years.  Some areas in the state were seeking permission to hay CRP, year in and year out.  Something that happens so often is much less of an emergency than it simply is a factor in planning. 

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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It comes down to whether we want CRP or not.  If we do, then we have to cater to the folks that own that land.  In otherwords, deal with death of wildlife.  Not all will die but I can garauntee this, if there is no CRP, um.....yeah....I think we all get the point.


 

 

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Farnorth
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Tim Sandstrom Said:
It comes down to whether we want CRP or not.  If we do, then we have to cater to the folks that own that land.  In otherwords, deal with death of wildlife.  Not all will die but I can garauntee this, if there is no CRP, um.....yeah....I think we all get the point.

Remember what I said about lacking long-term vision?  Well, memories get real short too.  Right now, agriculture is looking right down the barrel of some really bad financial years (lessons of the past have been forgotten).  I expect some guys to lose some very large sums with extremely low commodity prices accompanied by high land debt and rental rates.  I fully expect some people going broke big time.

I expect that there will shortly be a segment of the landowning public who will opt for the security of knowing they will get paid compared to risking renting out marginal land for more than it can pay for in rent.  So, I don't see CRP going away totally.  It might take a while though because the market is always slow to react.

The pendulum that is Agriculture has swung back hard.  The problem I see is that there are a bunch of people that haven't caught on yet and they are about to get blindsided.  This one is going to leave a mark.

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Farnorth Said:

Tim Sandstrom Said:
It comes down to whether we want CRP or not.  If we do, then we have to cater to the folks that own that land.  In otherwords, deal with death of wildlife.  Not all will die but I can garauntee this, if there is no CRP, um.....yeah....I think we all get the point.

Remember what I said about lacking long-term vision?  Well, memories get real short too.  Right now, agriculture is looking right down the barrel of some really bad financial years (lessons of the past have been forgotten).  I expect some guys to lose some very large sums with extremely low commodity prices accompanied by high land debt and rental rates.  I fully expect some people going broke big time.

I expect that there will shortly be a segment of the landowning public who will opt for the security of knowing they will get paid compared to risking renting out marginal land for more than it can pay for in rent.  So, I don't see CRP going away totally.  It might take a while though because the market is always slow to react.

The pendulum that is Agriculture has swung back hard.  The problem I see is that there are a bunch of people that haven't caught on yet and they are about to get blindsided.  This one is going to leave a mark.

Pretty much what I said a few years ago when commodity prices started going up landowners started taking land out of CRP. We seem to be repeating what happened 30-40 years ago when soil bank went away and we planted fence row to fence row. Make a buck while you can and the heck with everything else. A few years from now we'll probably be right back where we were in 1985. Round and round we go!

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CRP won't go away totally.  And hey, there are people out there that would love to put their land back in but they can't.  So I don't know if that is the issue.

As for the swing back.  Yeah, welcome to farming.  I understand why dad quit the game.  The trick is to be big now.  Either that or you are small, own everything, have money in the bank and have equipment that is ancient but in very good condition yet.


 

 

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With the wet conditions there will be plenty of cattails for habitat. 

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It is amazing how fast the wetlands return after having some rain.  Places I haven't seen water in eight years are full of green cattails and reeds.


 

 

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I love cattails.

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Tim Sandstrom Said:
CRP won't go away totally.  And hey, there are people out there that would love to put their land back in but they can't.  So I don't know if that is the issue.

As for the swing back.  Yeah, welcome to farming.  I understand why dad quit the game.  The trick is to be big now.  Either that or you are small, own everything, have money in the bank and have equipment that is ancient but in very good condition yet.

As long as there are people with the mindset that they SHOULD be getting something for providing nothing, CRP will not go away.  I've always felt that even the most marginal cropland is excellent hay land, and phenominal grazing land.  Wheat farmers are shooting themselves in the foot by promoting the farming of marginal land kept in production by farm subsidy $$$.  Just think what the price of wheat would do if subsidy payments would be cut for any land once enrolled in CRP.  That would cut a lot of wheat production....price goes up.  Open up a lot of grass acres to the cattleman willing to run yearlings along with his current cow/calf herd....benefit to the local rancher as well....a larger local market.  Price of wheat went up, so now the demand would be higher for beef products, and I believe the cattle prices would not fall much if any.....like they could anyway.

I say to hell with that pot o' gold.

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Allen Said:
I suspect that most farmers and ranchers who think haying in early July (when the hay is best cut for quality sake) is also good for the wildlife would change their tune on that if the data on wildlife were presented to them in a manner which they understand.  And I am just going on the belief that the biologists are correct in the detrimental effect that removal of cover at that stage has on eventual survival of the young.  note: my own anecdotal observations are that early July haying in Mountrail county harms grouse and partridge, especially when I ran them over with the mower/swather as they hunkered down in the grass and alfalfa!

Scientists are not always good at breaking down their data into useful information for the public at large, nor are farmers and ranchers very good at translating anecdotal observations into sound science.  Hence, we do tend to arrive at Farnorth's observation of they just seem to like to fight between themselves.

gst is also correct in his observation of CRP rates have driven rental (and land values) up higher than they probably should be.  Not a lot different really than the decision between small grains or row crops that many farmers face each year, they just don't get to choose CRP vs. farming it each year. 

I don't necessarily blame the NWF for their position anymore than I blame the landowners for theirs.  Their position is one of if a part of the contract stipulates wildlife, so if that is a part of the reason for those acres being enrolled one shouldn't expect to be able to make management plans that incorporate haying when we know it has a detrimental effect on wildlife to hay it every year.  Balance is the key here, ranchers should have recognized based on past history that they would need that hay every X of XX years.  Some areas in the state were seeking permission to hay CRP, year in and year out.  Something that happens so often is much less of an emergency than it simply is a factor in planning. 

Allen, The real fact is that even if it was allowed to be hayed in July, only 50% of any one contract could be hayed. Couple that with contracts that don't allow
ANY haying and the contract holders that don;t allow any haying and even in emergency declared disasters years  there was less than 40% of total CRP acres hayed or grazed in any year. The biologist of DU actually found what farmers and ranchers had been "ancedentally" tell them for years that managed haying and grazing is beneficial to wildlife.   NWF apparently never got that memo. This balance you talk of is what CRP contract holders that also needed forage at certain times wanted. Remember NO MORE THAN 50 % OF ANY CONTRACT COULD BE HAYED. This wasn't some cut all the cover to the are dirt kind of program. But the 50% compromise that contract holders were willing to abide by was not good enough for the NWF, nor was the once every 3 years managed haying.That's what their lawsuits changed.As a result you have people like those that have stated on here why their acres are no longer in CRP.

It appears not even members of the NDWF will comment on what good these lawsuits  by their national parent group did for anyone. There's a fine example of the balance you talk of.

Tim Sandstrom's picture
Tim Sandstrom
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Joined: Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:00am

gg,

The farming world is a little more complex than just CRP influencing market prices.  Little has to do with it I'd think when a guy really looks at it.  But maybe there's more I'm not seeing?  Lots of talk now a days on getting rid of many farm programs.  My dad spoke of that a little here and there many years ago.  Now it seems more and more people are looking along those lines.  Not total cuts but just a good overhaul.  Sometimes I wonder if these programs aren't our own worst enemy.  The thing is, the public wants cheap food.  Well, to accomplish that, we cannot allow farmers to constantly struggle.  Mother Nature is not forgiving.

I am a fan of a compromise of it all.  Allow them to hay some one year, some the other.  Plus allow the grazing of cattle.  Next year or whatever, it flips, etc.  Work on emergency haying on a need be basis and put some stipulations on paper.

I'm afraid she's a dead thing.  Last hope for real CRP rebirth is the greenies and big money to keep things out of cropland.  But the real deal is, landowners will want to utilize the land.  There sits the issue.  The taxpayer says hey wait a minute, we are paying you.  Yet the landowner says, hey wait a minute, we are in a drougt and need hay in the worst way.  She'll never end I don't think.


 

 

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