The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association says the Farm Service Agency’s release of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in certain counties is a step in the right direction. However, Executive Vice President Mike Deering thinks producers should have access to even more land as the drought continues.

Mike Deering

“Those designated counties where that’s available, well, let’s look at the adjacent counties as well,” he tells Brownfield Ag News. “And, let’s even look further than that and look at some of these other counties and release that for haying and grazing as well.”

Deering says a lot of Missouri cattle is going outside the state.

“Being shipped to where there’s green grass. We have some of that here in the state and we might as well take advantage of it and not just focus on those drought counties,” Deering says.

He points out that portions of southeast Missouri have lush green grass, whereas CRP lands in drought-stricken counties are dry.

“I would say, if you look at the Drought Monitor, where is the bright spot if there is one in the state? It would certainly be in that southeast part of the state,” Deering says.

He says Missouri’s U.S. Senators Roy Blunt, a Republican, and Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, support the opening of more CRP acres.

Deering also praises Republican Gov. Mike Parson and state agency leaders for allowing access to certain state lands and ponds for water access and haying.

By Julie Harker of Brownfield Ag News