Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) hosted a discussion with local stakeholders about a bill she recently introduced to allow grazing on lands that are part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Landowners who participate in this program are required to manage the grass growth mid-cycle of their CRP contract and Rep. Hartzler’s bill would add grazing as an allowable management option.
“The most recent science is clear about the benefits grazing as a land-management tool,” Hartzler said. “It improves critical wildlife habitats, making them more friendly to the quail, turkey and pheasant populations, gives cattle a nutritious grass source and improves soil health. My bill gives CRP landowners more flexibility in managing their land, saves taxpayer dollars and ultimately benefits the environment.”
The following organizations were represented at the discussion Hartzler hosted:
• Missouri Farm Bureau
• Missouri Department of Conservation
• National Wild Turkey Federation
• Nature Conservancy
• Pheasants Forever
• Quails Forever
• U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Background: The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) incentivizes landowners to manage their property in a way that reduces land erosion, enhances water quality and betters wildlife. As part of the program, landowners are required to clear their lands periodically. Currently, burning, chemical burning and discing are among the allowable methods, and they are subsidized by the federal government. Congresswoman Hartzler’s bill would add grazing to the list of options, but it would come at no cost to the government. This option would save taxpayer dollars and would improve soil quality, wildlife habitats and forage options for cattle.