Following Thune-Johnson Request, USDA Provides Flexibility for Harvesting and Grazing Cover Crops on Prevented Plant Acres

August 17, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, respectively, today issued the following statements after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would allow producers to graze or harvest cover crops on prevented plant acres in certain counties prior to November 1, following their request in June. South Dakota producers will be allowed to hay, graze, or chop cover crops on prevented plant acres beginning September 1 in Beadle, Brown, Brule, Campbell, Clark, Codington, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Hand, Hanson, Hyde, McPherson, Marshall, Potter, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink, and Walworth counties.

“Although we were hoping this announcement would have been made in June, we are glad some producers in South Dakota will have relief during these unprecedented environmental and economic circumstances,” said Thune. “The November 1 date puts producers in northern states like South Dakota at a disadvantage, especially considering South Dakota’s uncertain fall and winter weather. I will continue working on a long-term legislative solution to permanently remove this date restriction, which would help level the playing field and give our producers the certainty they need.”

“During these times, what South Dakotans need most is flexibility,” said Johnson. “Our producers continue to request changes to the prevent plant harvest date and for the last two years we’ve been able to get that done. This is good news for our farmers and ranchers, but I will continue to push for legislative solutions like the FEEDD Act to provide more certainty to our producers facing unpredictable South Dakota winters.”

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