What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• September 28: ARCPLC Signup Deadline; MPP-Dairy Premiums Due

Managed Haying Requests
For those who have stopped in to request managed haying on your CRP ground, make sure the bales are off as soon as possible to avoid killing of the seeding underneath, but no later than September 30.  Any seeding destroyed due to the bales needs to be reseeded. 

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
NAP is a risk-management tool designed to reduce financial losses that occur when natural disasters cause a loss of production or prevented planting of non-insurable crops or commodities.  NAP provides coverage for non-insurable crops such as apples, honey, strawberries, mixed forages, and aronia berries.  FSA offers NAP coverage to landowners, landlords, and tenants who share in the risk of producing a crop or agricultural commodity and are entitled to a share in the commodity available for marketing.

Producers must apply for NAP coverage by the application closing date for each particular crop in the county. Upcoming deadlines for applying for NAP coverage include:

• September 30, 2018: mixed forages, clover, strawberries
• November 20, 2018: apples, aronioa berries, grapes
• December 1, 2018: honey

NAP provides basic coverage equivalent to the catastrophic risk protection level of crop insurance. Basic coverage is equal to 50% of the yield at 55% of the average market price established by FSA. NAP also offers additional levels of coverage, which requires payment of a premium in addition to a basic service fee. A certified report of planted acreage, notice of loss and application for payment must be timely filed by deadlines established by FSA. To qualify for assistance under NAP, production losses must have occurred as a result of an eligible natural disaster such as drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, excessive winds, or flood.  

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. 

USDA Microloans Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans are especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations.

The microloan program has been hugely successful, providing more than 16,800 low-interest loans, totaling over $373 million to producers across the country. Microloans have helped farmers and ranchers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013. Seventy percent of loans have gone to new farmers.

Now, microloans will be available to also help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements. FSA designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations.

Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers, and can be issued to the applicant directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). To learn more about the FSA microloan program visit www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans, or contact your local FSA office.

Elections for the 2018 County Committee
Elections for USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Allamakee County Committee is underway.

It is important that every eligible producer participate in these elections because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural community and the USDA. The 2018 election in Name County will be conducted for the representative Local Administrative Area (LAA) 3: which includes Iowa, Lansing, Center, LaFayette, Paint Creek and Taylor townships.

County committee election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters November 5, 2018. The last day to return completed ballots to the Name County USDA service center is December 3, 2018.

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