The United States Department of Agriculture has expanded its efforts to combat drought in South Dakota, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The federal agency will provide additional assistance to livestock producers by expanding emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands. The expanded assistance will apply to any county that has borders within 150 miles of severe drought conditions.
The Conservation Reserve Program improves the health and quality of farmlands by sowing plant species that improve the environmental health of the soil. CRP pays farmers an annual rent in exchange for the loss of potential farm revenue. CRP lands are generally enrolled for 10-15 years. CRP is the largest private-lands conservation effort in the U.S.
To read more about the environment and conservation in the region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.