What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

FSA and the 2018 Farm Bill
No program sign-ups (CRP, dairy, ARCPLC) currently. We will announce dates once known.

Below is information regarding programmatic changes in the 2018 Farm Bill.  More information can be found at www.farmers.gov/farmbill. 

• Producers can make a new election for either ARC or PLC in the 2019 crop year which will also apply to the 2020 crop year. 
• Producers may change elections annually during the 2021 through 2023 crop years. 

Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program
• Replaces the Margin Protection Program (MPP).
• Operations making a one-time election through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25% discount on existing margin coverage rates.
• Maximum level for operations with a covered production history less than 5 million pounds is increased to $9.50.
• An operation enrolled in MPP any year from 2014-2017 may be eligible for a refund of premiums if the premium paid exceeds the MPP payments received.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
• CRP acreage cap gradually increases to 27 million acres by 2023.
• At least 8.6 million acres devoted to continuous practices, and 2 million acres to grassland.
• Annual rental payments are limited to 85% of the estimated average county rental rate for general enrollment, and 90% for continuous enrollment. 

Marketing Assistance Loan Programs
• Extends loan authority through 2023 for multiple commodities including corn and soybeans.

Disaster Programs
• Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP), and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) remain authorized with minimal changes.
• “Cold” is now considered a LIP covered eligible loss for unweaned livestock without regard to any management practice, vaccination protocol, or lack of vaccination.

Farm Loan Programs
• Direct Operating loan limit increases to $400,000 and the Guaranteed Operating loan limit increases to $1,750,000.
• Direct Farm Ownership loan limit is increased to $600,000 and the Guaranteed Farm Ownership loan limit is increased to $1,750,000.
• A producer may receive both a $50,000 Farm Ownership Microloan and a $50,000 Operating Microloan.

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
Even though we still have plenty of snow on the ground, now is a good time to start thinking about your MCM, if you are scheduled for this year.  Those that are scheduled for this year would have received a packet from our office this past fall detailing what needs to be done.  Most have until May 14, 2019 to complete the work, but now is a good time to start lining up contractors if you haven’t already done so, buy seed if needed, and get equipment ready.  If you have technical questions, need a seeding plan, or contractor list contact the NRCS office.  Any other questions can be directed to FSA. 

Once you complete your MCM, notify the FSA office, sign the FSA-848B form, and provide acceptable evidence of practice completion to determine proper cost share payment.

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