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
• June 15: Final Planting Date for Soybeans
• July 15: 2018 Crop Reports
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up

Crop Reporting
The Allamakee County FSA office welcomes all county farmers to come in and report their 2018 crops.  Certifying your crops is a requirement for many FSA programs.  This includes all spring planted crops and land uses.  Forages and pastures were to be reported last fall, and if you missed that deadline, we will be asking for that report now and collecting a late fee.  100% of the farm must be reported to be eligible for programs.  Please report what is planted on your farm by the deadline of July 15.

While you’re in the office, be sure to sign up for the 2018 Agricultural Risk Program as well.  This program began in 2014 and runs through 2018.  Every year you need to come in, tell us who is operating the land, and sign form CCC-861 so that the correct producers may be paid any earned program benefits.  The deadline to sign up is August 1. 

ARC/PLC Acreage Maintenance
Producers enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs must protect all cropland and noncropland acres on the farm from wind and water erosion and noxious weeds. Producers who sign ARC county or individual contracts and PLC contracts agree to effectively control noxious weeds on the farm according to sound agricultural practices.  If a producer fails to take necessary actions to correct a maintenance problem on a farm that is enrolled in ARC or PLC, the County Committee may elect to terminate the contract for the program year. 

CRP Participants Must Maintain Approved Cover on Acreages Enrolled in CRP and Farm Programs
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants are responsible for ensuring adequate, approved vegetative and practice cover is maintained to control erosion throughout the life of the contract after the practice has been established. Participants must also control undesirable vegetation, weeds (including noxious weeds), insects and rodents that may pose a threat to existing cover or adversely impact other landowners in the area.

All CRP maintenance activities, such as mowing, burning, disking and spraying, must be conducted outside the primary nesting or brood rearing season for wildlife, which for Iowa is May 15 – August 1. However, spot treatment of the acreage may be allowed during the primary nesting season if, left untreated, the weeds, insects or undesirable species would adversely impact the approved cover. In this instance, spot treatment is limited to the affected areas in the field and requires County Committee approval prior to beginning the spot treatment. The County Committee will consult with NRCS to determine if such activities are needed to maintain the approved cover.

Annual mowing of CRP for generic weed control, or for cosmetic purposes, is prohibited at all times.

Upcoming County Office Committee Election in LAA-3
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.

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 data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

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