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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said producers in Campbell, Goshen, Laramie and Platte counties will be allowed to take emergency measures to help relieve the devastating effects of the ongoing drought.

Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman approved emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage today to allow producers to hay land they have agreed to set aside for conservation.

"If mother nature won't give our producers the relief they need, then it must be up to us to continue to find ways to counter this devastation," said Enzi.

Emergency haying is authorized until August 31, 2002, or until disaster conditions no longer exist, whichever comes first. To be approved for emergency haying and grazing a county must have suffered at least a 40 percent loss of normal moisture and forage for the preceding four-month qualifying period. At least 50 percent of the CRP contract acreage must be left unhayed for wildlife and hay harvested from CRP acreage may not be sold.

Enzi said the fight is not over for Wyoming ranchers struggling to save their herds. Since the beginning of the year, all but two of Wyoming's counties have been designated as drought disaster areas making drought-stricken producers eligible for other USDA programs that include emergency farm loans, federal crop insurance, the emergency conservation program and the noninsured crop disaster assistance program.

Enzi also said he will continue his efforts to secure $500 million in federal drought aid for the Livestock Assistance Program (LAP), which he has fought to fund since last year.

Information and eligibility requirements on USDA disaster assistance can be obtained by contacting local Farm Service Agencies (FSA) or by visiting the FSA website at (www.fsa.usda.gov).