South Dakota Farmers Union Applauds USDA Decision to Allow for Emergency Haying in Upper Great Plains

July 12, 2017

HURON, S.D. - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture,  Sonny Perdue authorized the release of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota for emergency haying. The announcement follows urgent requests from National Farmers Union (NFU), state Farmers Union divisions, agriculture groups and legislators for the USDA to address severe drought conditions in the Upper Great Plains.

 South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, was among a group of state Farmers Union presidents who sent a letter to Perdue June 20, 2017, urging him to release CRP acres.

In response to the decision, Sombke a fourth-generation crop and livestock producer from Conde, issues the following statement:

 "We are grateful for the grace that this action shows. It brings some relief to a natural disaster which has left many of South Dakota's livestock producers in need of grass and other forages to feed their animals," Sombke said.

 Sombke emphasizes that although releasing CRP offers some relief, the situation remains dire.

 "More needs to be done. Family farmers and ranchers are being forced to sell their cattle at below profit prices because they simply do not have the feed supplies to care for them this winter. And, this fall, many will not be able to harvest the crops which they depend upon for their annual income," he explains. "For those working off the farm, this drought is equivalent to losing your job - only worse because, even though these farmers and ranchers will not have income, they still need to pay for inputs."

Last Modified: 07/12/2017 11:03:57 am MDT


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