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
• July 4: Office Closed for Holiday
• July 15: 2018 Crop Reports
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up
• August 17: CRP Signup 51

2018 Crop Certification
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.

CRP Signup
USDA recently announced a CRP signup that runs from June 4 - August 17.  This sign-up will be for limited practices only to ensure the most sensitive land is protected, while staying under the 24-million-acre cap.  These limited practices include, but are not limited to, filter strips, riparian buffers, and grass waterways. The full list of eligible practices is on the USDA website.

In addition to the new signup, a 1-year extension signup will run during these same dates.  CRP participants with contracts set to expire on September 30, 2018 may choose to extend that date for a 1-year period at the same per acre payment rate.  No new acres may be added to these extended contracts.  A 1-year extension is NOT available for those contracts where this extension would cause the contract to exceed 15 years. Those eligible for an extension will receive a letter from USDA.

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.

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. 

Livestock Inventory Records
Producers are reminded to keep updated livestock inventory records. These records are necessary in the event of a natural disaster. When disasters strike, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist producers who suffered excessive livestock death losses and grazing or feed losses due to eligible natural disasters.

To participate in livestock disaster assistance programs, producers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent. For grazing or feed losses, producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent and should maintain documentation and receipts.

Producers should record all pertinent information regarding livestock inventory records including:

• Documentation of the number, kind, type, and weight range of livestock
• Beginning inventory supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts;

FSA County Committee Nominations Launched June 15
USDA encourages America’s farmers and ranchers to nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their local county committee. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept nominations for county committee members beginning through August 1.

Producers can nominate themselves or others. This year the election will occur in LAA3 which includes Iowa, Lansing, Center, LaFayette, Paint Creek, and Taylor townships.  Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible to serve, producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program and reside in the area where the election is being held.

To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

All nomination forms for the 2018 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by August 1, 2018. Visit www.farmers.gov for more information.

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