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USDA allows emergency haying on CRP land in Kan.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The U.S. Agriculture Department has approved emergency cutting of hay on Conservation Reserve Program acreage in 21 Kansas counties as the drought deepens.

Adrian Polansky, state executive director for the Farm Service Agency, says haying of CRP land can begin Saturday.

CRP pays farmers to take fragile acreage out of production to help prevent topsoil erosion.

Polansky says the authorization for haying will provide relief for many livestock producers. He says the drought has depleted hay supplies and affected the growth of hay and pasture in parts of Kansas, leaving producers to struggle with maintaining their herds.

The approved counties are Barber, Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Gray, Ford, Harper and Harvey. Also included are Kingman, Kiowa, McPherson, Meade, Morton, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Sedgwick, Seward and Stafford.

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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