Livestock > Cost & Return > Profitability

Managed Haying or Grazing of CRP Acres

File B1-60
Written September, 2013

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Managed Hay and Grazing of CRP Acres

Current Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rules allow landowners with active CRP contracts to periodically harvest forage from CRP acres via routine (commonly referred to as “managed”) haying or grazing under certain conditions.

Responsibly managed haying and grazing have been shown to diversify covers, improve existing stands, and provide benefits to wildlife habitat. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) sets the standards for this provision and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) works with CRP contract holders to develop approved management plans. Livestock producers with access to CRP acres and CRP landowners faced with the decision of whether to utilize this provision must compare the costs and returns to managed haying or grazing of CRP acres with the alternatives, i.e., purchasing hay, leasing private acres for haying or grazing.

This publication presents average breakeven rates for managed haying and grazing of CRP acres in Iowa and provides formulas and background information needed to calculate breakeven prices when comparing the managed harvest of forage from CRP acres with the alternatives for obtaining hay or grazing acres. The full report (available in PDF) is available along with a Decision Tool to calculate costs for managed haying or grazing of CRP acres.

 

Lee Schulz, extension livestock specialist, 515-294-3356, lschulz@iastate.edu
Keri Jacobs, cooperatives economist, 515-294-6780, kljacobs@iastate.edu