07.24.20

Gardner Lends Support to Allow Emergency Haying and Grazing on CRP Land During COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) cosponsored S. 3893, bipartisan legislation that would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to authorize emergency haying and grazing on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) during a pandemic like COVID-19. The Pandemic Authority Suitable To Utilize Reserve Easements (PASTURE) Act was introduced by U.S. Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Tina Smith (D-MN).

“Farmers and ranchers in Colorado have faced many challenges because of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a delay from shipping livestock to be processed that has required additional grazing, but they have been working around the clock to keep our nation’s food supply secure,” said Senator Gardner. “This bipartisan bill will provide for the opportunity for much-needed relief and assistance to Colorado’s vital agriculture industry.”

“We are experiencing a global health pandemic, and farmers and ranchers are feeling the economic impact,”said Senator Thune. “Our bill is straightforward—allowing emergency haying and grazing would help producers ensure adequate forage for the livestock they are having to keep longer than expected due to low prices and meat processing capacity shortfalls resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. My hope is that this will provide our ag economy, South Dakota’s top industry, with much-needed assistance at this time.”

Companion legislation was introduced by U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Angie Craig (D-MN) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.