Oklahoma Farm Bureau today applauds Sen. Jim Inhofe’s work to provide relief to farmers and ranchers affected by the devastating wildfires in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Inhofe, President Donald Trump this week directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to authorize emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acres affected by the wildfire.
“Oklahoma Farm Bureau has stood by the farmers, ranchers, and rural residents impacted by the devastating wildfires in Oklahoma. I am proud to say that President Trump is standing by them too, with his decision to allow grazing on CRP lands during this emergency,” said OKFB President Tom Buchanan. “While there is no silver bullet, this action will go a long way to providing the immediate relief and support Oklahomans need to recover and rebuild from this disaster.”
To reduce the concentration of livestock near the burned areas, livestock owners who suffered damage during the March 2017 wildfire now are permitted to graze livestock on CRP land in other counties, or even other states.
“Authorizing emergency grazing on CRP lands throughout Oklahoma and even outside the state is a critical step in helping ranchers recover from the devastating impacts of the wildfires in Northwest Oklahoma and I applaud President Trump’s directive,” Inhofe said. “I have seen the damage of these fires first hand and spoken with numerous farmers and ranchers affected; while nothing will undo the damage done to the livelihood of so many in northwest Oklahoma, this measure will provide immediate relief to ranchers trying to cope with feeding their herds.
“I am pleased that this Administration is listening to and working for rural America. I look forward to continuing to work with the President and his administration to make sure Oklahomans get the relief they need.”
The directive includes CRP land under CP1, CP2, CP4, CP10, CP18 and CP38 practices. Livestock must be removed from CRP acres 90 days after access, but no later than Sept. 30, 2017. Livestock owners will be required to complete and sign a form verifying the livestock were on grazed land burned land.
Farmers and ranchers throughout northwest Oklahoma suffered the loss of thousands of cattle and thousands of miles of fence during the March wildfires that burned thousands of acres.
For more information on the emergency grazing authorization, livestock owners may contact local or state USDA Farm Service Agency offices.