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Rounds: Earlier Start Date for Haying, Grazing and Chopping of Cover Crops Will Help South Dakota Farmers and Ranchers Prepare for Fall and Winter Season

PIERRE—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today made the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced farmers and ranchers in 19 South Dakota counties can begin haying, grazing and chopping cover crops on prevented plant acres starting on September 1 rather than November 1:


“The past two years have been incredibly difficult for South Dakota farmers and ranchers, with many facing excessive moisture and flooding, while other parts of the state are facing drought conditions. These weather conditions make it difficult for producers to wait until November 1 to begin grazing or harvesting cover crops. I’m pleased USDA has provided some flexibility by allowing them to hay, graze and chop their fields earlier in the season. I hope USDA will consider additional South Dakota counties for early haying and grazing. This will help them to better prepare for the coming fall and winter months.”


The South Dakota counties impacted by this announcement are: Beadle, Brown, Brule, Campbell, Clark, Codington, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Hand, Hanson, Hyde, McPherson, Marshall, Potter, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink and Walworth.


More information on USDA’s announcement is available here.


On June 12, Rounds joined Sen. John Thune and a number of other farm-state senators and representatives in a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, requesting an earlier start date for harvesting cover crops.


Rounds also cosponsored the Cover Crop Flexibility Act, which would make permanent the earlier start date for harvesting cover crops on prevented plant acres.



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