What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
Now that temperatures are starting to feel more like spring, and the snow is really starting to melt, please 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. You do 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 please contact the NRCS office.  Any other questions can be directed to FSA.

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

Still no word on a CRP signup. Once we hear something official, we will get the word out. One of the best ways to stay up-to-date on program signups is register for text alerts from our office.  All you need to do is text IAAllamakee to 372669.  We send no more than two texts per month, and they will center around program signups and deadlines.  We encourage everyone to sign up to receive these from our (or your local) office. Standard data and message rates apply.

Breaking New Ground
Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with FSA and NRCS before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing so without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm program benefits in jeopardy. This is especially true for land that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions.

Producers with HEL determined soils are required to apply tillage, crop residue and rotational requirements as specified in their conservation plan. 

Producers should notify FSA as a first point of contact prior to conducting land clearing or drainage type projects to ensure the proposed actions meet compliance criteria such as clearing any trees to create new cropland, then these areas will need to be reviewed to ensure such work will not risk your eligibility for benefits.

Landowners and operators complete the form AD-1026 - Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification to identify the proposed action and allow FSA to determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for further review is necessary.  

Payments to Deceased Producers
In order to claim a Farm Service Agency (FSA) payment on behalf of a deceased producer, all program conditions for the payment must have been met before the applicable producer’s date of death.

If a producer earned an FSA payment prior to becoming deceased, the following is the order of precedence of the representatives of the producer:
 
• administrator or executor of the estate
• the surviving spouse
• surviving sons and daughters, including adopted children
• surviving father and mother
• surviving brothers and sisters
• heirs of the deceased person who would be entitled to payment according to the State law
 
In order for FSA to release the payment, the legal representative of the deceased producer must file a form FSA-325, to claim the payment for themselves or an estate. The county office will verify and determine that the application, contract, loan agreement, or other similar form requesting payment issuance, was signed by the applicable deadline for such form, by the deceased or a person legally authorized to act on their behalf at that time of application.

If the application, contract or loan agreement form was signed by someone other than the participant who is deceased, FSA will determine whether the person submitting the form has the legal authority to submit the form to compel FSA to pay the deceased participant.

Payments will be issued to the respective representative’s name using the deceased program participant’s tax identification number. Payments made to representatives are subject to offset regulations for debts owed by the deceased.

FSA is not responsible for advising persons in obtaining legal advice on how to obtain program benefits that may be due to a participant who has died, disappeared or who has been declared incompetent.

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