Lucas Seeks CRP Extension for Producers Impacted by Wildfires

May 17, 2017
Agriculture
Press

Washington, D.C. – Today, at a House Committee on Agriculture hearing, Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) asked U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue about the possibility of the agency extending CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) acre eligibility for farmers and ranchers impacted by wildfires throughout Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas in March.

“I’ve lived all my life in Northwest Oklahoma, but I have never seen anything of the magnitude of these fires,” said Congressman Lucas. “The potential for the extension of USDA’s initial 90-day emergency authorization will have a tremendous impact on the farmers and ranchers in our region who are working to rebuild. I appreciate Secretary Perdue’s and the Trump administration’s responsiveness on this critical matter, as well as the secretary’s willingness to consider our request.”

Last week, Lucas, along with Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), sent a letter to Secretary Perdue requesting an extension beyond the current 90-day emergency grazing authorization.

Excerpt from the letter:

“On behalf of these producers, we request an extension of the emergency grazing authorization. It takes a significant amount of time to regrow the forage and rebuild the facilities that are needed to properly maintain, contain, and care for the surviving livestock. Farmers and ranchers will soon have to make other arrangements for their livestock to comply with the July 3rd removal deadline. We ask you to use your authority to avoid placing additional uncertainty on these farmers and ranchers by extending the original 90-day emergency grazing authorization. We look forward to working with you to continue to assist affected producers during this difficult rebuilding process.”

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