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Agriculture

Ranchers In 3 States Get Grazing Assistance Due To Wildfires

Grazing.jpg
Jennifer Bradford, flickr Creative Commons
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Emergency grazing is now allowed on Conservation Reserve Program(CRP) lands in southwest Kansas. Ranchers suffered a huge loss of grazing area in the recent wildfires.

Ranchers in three states affected by wildfires have been given a temporary suspension of grazing restrictions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program lands in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

CRP lands are private areas that are set aside from crop rotation and planted with species that will improve environmental health and quality in exchange for a rental type payment.

The agency says wildfires in Kansas burned about 630,000 acres with estimated livestock losses of between 3,000 and 9,000 cattle. About $36 million worth of fencing was also destroyed.

In Oklahoma, where nearly 390,000 acres burned, the livestock loss was estimated at 3,000 head of cattle. Structure losses were estimated at $2 million with fencing losses at $22 million.

Texas ranchers lost at least 3,000 cattle and 1,900 swine when some 550,000 acres burned.

Acting Secretary of Agriculture Mike Young says ranchers are facing devastating conditions and economic calamity and need some relief.

The authorization will end in December.

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Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

 
To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.