PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's two U.S. senators say they are pleased U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has decided to help South Dakota farmers and ranchers by allowing emergency haying and grazing on additional land in the Conservation Reserve Program.
Sen. John Thune says Vilsack earlier had allowed emergency haying and grazing on about 500,000 acres in South Dakota. He says Vilsack now will allow drought-stricken farmers and ranchers to conduct emergency haying and grazing on up to an additional 445,000 acres of CRP land designated as wetlands.
Sen. Tim Johnson says opening wetlands will help farmers and ranchers get access to feed for their livestock.
Vilsack on Wednesday also designated 39 South Dakota counties as disaster areas, which will make farmers eligible for low-interest emergency loans.