What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• May 15 - August 2: Primary Nesting Season. No MCM Activities on CRP Acres
• May 31: Marketing Assistance Loans for Prior Year Harvested Corn and Soybeans
• May 31: Final Planting Date for Corn
• June 1: Margin Protection Program (MPP) Signup
• June 15: Final Planting Date for Soybeans
• July 15: 2018 Crop Reports
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up

County Office Committees
County committees play a vital role in the administration of federal farm programs. They make decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs, emergency/disaster programs, employing County Executive Directors and other significant agricultural issues with the USDA.

Members come from one of three pre-determined local administrative areas (LAAs), and elections are held each year on a rotational basis.  This year the election will occur in LAA3 which includes Iowa, Lansing, Center, LaFayette, Paint Creek, and Taylor townships. To be eligible to serve you must participate or cooperate in a FSA program, be eligible to vote, and live in the LAA where you are nominated.   

The nomination period will start June 15 and producers can nominate themselves or others. If you would like to run, or are nominated and agree to run, you will need to complete form FSA-669A, which you can pick up at our office or online at fsa.usda.gov/elections. All nominations must be postmarked or received in our office by August 1.

Election ballots are then mailed to eligible voters in the electing LAA beginning November 5 and are due back no later than December 3.  All newly elected members take office January 1, and serve for three years, with a maximum of three terms. So if you reside in LAA-3, and would like to run, stop in after June 15 to pick up the nomination form and return it to us by August 1.

Transition Incentive Program (TIP)
The Transition Incentives Program offers assistance for retired or retiring land owners and operators, as well as opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. It provides the retired/retiring land owners or operators with two additional annual rental payments on land enrolled in expiring CRP contracts, on the condition they sell or rent this land to a beginning farmer or rancher or to a socially disadvantaged group. Up to two additional annual CRP payments can be obtained through TIP. New land owners or renters must return the land to production using sustainable grazing or farming methods.

Only land enrolled in an expiring CRP contract is eligible. TIP enrollment is on a continuous basis, and may occur up to one year before a contract is set to expire. To qualify for TIP, the retiring land owner or operator must either sell this land, or lease it on a long-term basis (at least five year), to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher. Beginning or Socially Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers may be eligible to re-enroll the land in CRP continuous Signup Programs. New owners and operators may also be eligible to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program or Environmental Quality Incentives Program, both initiatives of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Crop Reporting
To remain eligible for programs administered by FSA and other USDA agencies, Allamakee county farmers are reminded to submit an acreage report to account for all cropland on all farms.  All 2018 crops must be certified by filing a Report of Commodities, form FSA-578, by July 15, 2018. 

You will also need to provide planting dates, type and variety of crop, and accurate acreages. It is the producer’s responsibility to ensure accurate reporting. Discrepancies found later may affect eligibility for all FSA administered programs.

Crop reports filed after July 15, 2018 will be charged a measurement service fee of $46 per farm. FSA must perform an on-farm inspection of these acres to verify crops certified after the reporting deadline.

Revisions to crop reports made after the reporting deadline will be assessed a $46 measurement service fee per FSA farm number. Review your crop reports prior to this date to ensure that crops, planting dates, intended uses, acres and shares are correct. FSA is required to visit every farm that submits a revision to a crop report after July 15, 2018.

USDA Farm Service Agency Offers Text Alerts to Allamakee County Producers
The USDA Farm Service Agency wants to inform farmers and ranchers they can sign up to receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone.

Producers can text IAAllamakee to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Allamakee County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

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