WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) on Thursday approved of a U.S. District Court ruling allowing livestock producers to use 2.5 million acres of noncritical Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land for haying and grazing.

The decision was reportedly based largely on briefs filed by livestock groups such as the NPPC, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in response to a lawsuit from the National Wildlife Federation’s lawsuit regarding the U.S. Department of Agricultures Critical Feed Use (CFU) initiative. The briefs pointed out the losses livestock producers have suffered due to recent spikes in grain prices and the need to rely on the initiative to avoid suffering irreparable harm to their business and possible loss of their farms from a lack of feed.

Last week, reportedly at the request of the NWF and several state wildlife federations, the court issued a temporary restraining order immediately halting farmers and ranchers from haying and grazing on CRP land for critical feed use until the court considered the issue on Thursday.

In declining to extend the injunction, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour stated, “There are substantial competing hardships, whose impact could be devastating to citizens who trusted that their government was acting legally in implementing the Critical Feed Use initiative, as well as to the nation and the world economy at large, if the Court issues the injunction that Plaintiffs urge.” Instead, he ordered the NWF and USDA to come up with a compromise plan designed to mitigate the hardships of livestock producers


Source: National Pork Producers Council