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Published July 23, 2012, 10:57 AM

ND counties seek grazing permission on CRP acres

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota officials are asking the federal government to allow grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acres in the southwestern counties of Bowman and Slope.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota officials are asking the federal government to allow grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acres in the southwestern counties of Bowman and Slope.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says ranchers in the two counties need help getting their livestock through drought. He says it's likely that more counties will make similar requests as the dry conditions continue to worsen.

Landowners get government payments through the CRP program to take land out of production to guard against erosion and create wildlife habitat. Haying and grazing normally is not allowed.

Politicians and farm groups in South Dakota also have urged the federal government to open CRP acres to haying and grazing to help drought-stricken ranchers.

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