Order extends permit suspension to transport hay
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has re-issued an Executive Order that suspends the permits needed for oversize vehicles that are transporting baled livestock feed to other states.
The governor’s Executive Order extends the permit suspension until midnight, Dec. 22, 2011.
The livestock industry in the southwestern U.S., especially Texas, has been especially hard hit by drought.
As conditions continue to deteriorate, farmers and ranchers in extremely dry areas are struggling to find forage for their livestock. Texas State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon recently noted drought conditions over the past nine months could actually last through the decade.
The departments of agri culture in Texas, South Dakota and North Dakota are requesting that the USDA Farm Service Agency allow any hay cut on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to be donated to drought-stricken livestock producers such as those in Texas.
The three state agriculture departments also requested that the haying and grazing restriction on CRP lands be waived through the end of 2011 as well as waiving the 25 percent reduction penalty in CRP payments for haying or grazing under these extreme circumstances.
“Southwest portions of the country are facing prolonged drought, and the situation for livestock producers is getting worse,” said South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Walt Bones. “We want to be equipped to help those producers any way we can. One way we can help is to get hay down there quickly. Being able to donate hay cut from CRP acres would also be a big help to those cattle producers.”
Although the permit requirement for oversize vehicles hauling hay across South Dakota borders has been temporarily suspended, several highways in the state have width restrictions in place because of construction. Truckers are encouraged to check routes ahead of time for width restrictions.
Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 143,000 South Dakotans. — WLJ