What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates

• Updated - February 14: Last day to apply for the Market Facilitation Program
• February 18: Office closed in observance of Washington’s Birthday

USDA Market Facilitation Program
The last day to stop in and sign the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) application has been changed to February 14, due to FSA being furloughed.  You don’t need to certify production at that time, but if you don’t sign the application by February 14 you will not be eligible for MFP payments. Once you sign the application, you have until May 1 to prove production. 

Report Livestock Losses
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides assistance to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, extreme heat or extreme cold.

LIP payments for livestock death losses, adjusted for normal mortality, are calculated by multiplying the national payment rate for the applicable livestock category by the number of eligible livestock in that category times the producer’s share. Current year national payment rates can be found on the USDA website.

To be eligible the livestock owner must have legally owned the livestock on the day the livestock died or were injured by eligible loss condition.  Eligible loss conditions include:

• Adverse weather event – extreme or abnormal damaging weather that is not expected to occur during the loss period for which it occurred, and which directly results in eligible livestock losses.  This includes hail; lightning; winter storm that lasts more than three consecutive days and is accompanied with high winds and/or freezing rain, heavy snowfall, and extremely cold temperatures; blizzards; extreme heat; and extreme cold.
• Eligible disease - disease that is exacerbated by an eligible adverse weather event that directly results in eligible livestock losses, including, but not limited to, anthrax, cyanobacteria.
• Eligible attack - means an attack by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators, that directly results in eligible livestock losses.

An owner or contract grower must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent as well as file an application for payment within 60 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred. More information can be found at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/fact-sheets/index.

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.

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