Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a two-month extension for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres, freeing up forage and feed for ranchers as they look to recover from this challenging time. This flexibility for ranchers marks the latest action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide assistance to producers impacted by the drought, which has included opening CRP and other conservation acres to emergency haying and grazing, lowering the interest rate for emergency loans, and working with crop insurance companies to provide flexibility to farmers.

The Secretary today also designated 147 additional counties in 14 states as natural disaster areas-128 counties in 10 states due to drought. In the past seven weeks, USDA has designated 1,892 unduplicated counties in 38 states as disaster areas-1,820 due to drought-while USDA officials have fanned out to more than a dozen drought-affected states as part of a total U.S. government effort to offer support and assistance to those in need.

Click here for the latest information regarding USDA's drought response and assistance.

Primary counties designated as disaster areas today for drought and other reasons:

Brown    Brule    Buffalo    Corson
Faulk    Hand    Harding    Hughes
Hyde    Lake    Lyman    Mellette
Miner    Minnehaha    Moody    Perkins
Potter     Sanborn    Stanley    Sully
Ziebach