What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
May 17: Last day to report production for the Market Facilitation Program
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season.  No MCM activities on CRP acres.
May 27: Office closed in observance of Memorial Day
June 17: Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up Begins
July 15: Last day to certify crop acres

March Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers Third 2019 Dairy Safety Net Payment
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the March 2019 income over feed cost margin was $8.85 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the third payment for dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy), offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

The signup period for DMC opens June 17, 2019. Dairy producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $9 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for January, February and March 2019.

All participants are required to pay an annual $100 administrative fee in addition to any premium, and payments will be subject to a 6.2 percent reduction to account for federal sequestration.

USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Producers’ Costs for Organic Certification
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Applications for fiscal 2019 funding are due Oct. 31, 2019.

“Producers can visit their local FSA county offices to apply for up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “This also gives organic producers an opportunity to learn about other valuable USDA resources, like farm loans and conservation assistance, that can help them succeed. Organic producers can take advantage of a variety of USDA programs from help with field buffers to routine operating expenses to storage and handling equipment.”

OCCSP received continued support through the 2018 Farm Bill. It provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA’s National Organic Program. Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent. Eligible expenses for cost-share reimbursement include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.

Certified producers and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of certification costs each year, up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope, including crops, livestock, wild crops, handling and state organic program fees.

Crop Reporting
Allamakee county farmers are reminded to report all spring planted crops to the FSA office by July 15 to remain eligible for FSA and other USDA programs.   Please remember to bring planting dates with you. It is the producer’s responsibility to accurately report acres and producer’s shares in individual crops. Discrepancies found later may affect eligibility for all FSA-administered programs.

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