Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Affidavit

On Tuesday I filed an affidavit on behalf of Texas producers who will suffer severe economic hardships if a recent restraining order issued by a U.S. District Court judge becomes permanent. The National Wildlife Federation is asking the court to suspend the use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land for Critical Feed Use (CFU).

In May the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the CFU program would take effect on July 2 in Texas, after the primary nesting season for birds on conservation acres ended. This program would have provided livestock grazing and haying access to portions of approximately four million protected acres in Texas. The program was designed to alleviate livestock feed needs for producers driven by feed shortages resulting from drought and escalating feed costs. However, the court’s order took effect on July 8, requiring producers in Texas to immediately halt their utilization of the program after they had already begun accessing approximately 600,000 acres of land.

Texas livestock producers could lose their livelihood if not allowed to use this grazing land. This year high feed costs and drought have hit our producers hard. Now reversing the decision on opening up this land could be the third strike that drives them out of business. The federal government made these producers a promise; it would inflict irreparable harm for the courts not to honor that original pledge.

You can read more on the filing in the press release on TDA's Web site.

You can read the affidavit HERE.

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