What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season.  No MCM activities on CRP acres
May 27: Office closed in observance of Memorial Day
June 14: COC Nominations Begin
June 17: Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up Begins
July 15: Last day to certify crop acres

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.

USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program
USDA announced the availability of a new web-based tool - developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial 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. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens June 17.

The decision tool assists producers with calculating total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be made during the coverage year.

For more information, access the tool at fsa.usda.gov/dmc-tool. For DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information, visit fsa.usda.gov or contact your local USDA Service Center.

Opportunity to Request a Referendum: Soybean Promotion, Research, and Information Program
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that soybean producers may request a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Order, as authorized under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act. Participation in the Request for Referendum is voluntary, and producers should only participate if they wish to request a referendum on the program.

The results of the Request for Referendum will be published in a notice in the Federal Register. If at least 10 percent of eligible producers, as determined by USDA, participate in the Request for Referendum, a referendum will be held within one year from that determination.

Interested soybean producers may request a referendum during a four-week period beginning May 6 and ending May 31, 2019. Form LS-51-1, Soybean Promotion and Research Order Request for Referendum, may be downloaded online, or obtained by mail, fax, or in person from Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices during this time.

Completed forms and supporting documentation must be returned to the appropriate county FSA office by fax or in person no later than close of business May 31, 2019, or if returned by mail, must be postmarked by midnight May 31, 2019, and received in the county FSA office by close of business June 6, 2019.

For detailed information, including eligibility, read the full AMS announcement. To find your local office, visit www.farmers.gov.

County Committee (COC) Election
It’s that time of year when FSA begins the process of the county committee election. This year the election will be for LAA-1, which includes Waterloo, Union City, Hanover, French Creek, Union Prairie, and Makee townships. Essentially the NW portion of the county.

The nomination period begins June 14 and runs through August 1. You can nominate yourself or someone else by completing the appropriate form at our office or download it online. Once nominations are finalized, producers who reside in LAA-1 will cast ballots which will be mailed to you November 4.  These ballots are due back to the FSA office by Deccember 2. The elected member will take office January 1. We’ll be getting more information out, posting flyers around town, and folks in these townships will be getting a postcard in June. 

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