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Jun 17, 2011 8:54 PM by Kate Richards

Emergency grazing will be allowed in Southern Colorado

DENVER (AP) - Ranchers in several southern Colorado counties where the drought has dried up pastures will be able to graze their animals on land set aside as part of a federal conservation program.

The Colorado Farm Service Agency said Friday that emergency grazing will be allowed in Baca, Otero, Crowley, Kiowa, Prowers, Bent, Pueblo and Las Animas counties. Ranchers will be able to use land in the Conservation Reserve Program through Sept. 30.

At least a quarter of each field must be left ungrazed so wildlife can use it.

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall says the aid will provide much needed relief for ranchers struggling through severe drought.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is seeking federal drought aid for Baca, Crowley and Otero counties.

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