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
June 3: CRP Continuous Signup 52 Begins 
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.

Conservation Reserve Program - Continuous Enrollment Period
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing a continuous signup period under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP signup 52). Offers may be accepted beginning June 3, 2019 through August 23, 2019.
Under continuous CRP signup, environmentally sensitive land devoted to certain conservation practices can be enrolled in CRP at any time. Offers are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap. Unlike

CRP enrollments under general CRP signups or CRP Grasslands, offers for continuous enrollment are not subject to competitive bidding during specific periods.

Eligible practices include grass waterways, contour grass strips, filter strips, and riparian buffers.  The full list of eligible practices can be seen at fsa.gov/conservation.

If the offered acres are currently enrolled in CRP under a CRP contract that expires September 30, 2019, then the effective start date of the new CRP contract must be October 1, 2019. If the offered acres are not currently enrolled in CRP then the producer may choose to defer the effective start date of the new CRP contract for up to six months after the offer is approved. All acceptable signup 52 continuous offers must be approved no later than September 30, 2019.

Signup and practice incentives, as well as certain rental rate incentives are not available for this signup. Cost-share of up to 50 percent of the reimbursable cost of installing the practice is provided by FSA.

Cost-share assistance is not available for any management activity.  Soil Rental Rates will be equal to 90 percent of the existing rates, not to exceed $300 per acre.

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 on 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 https://dairymarkets.org/MPP/.

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 on November 4.  These ballots are due back to the FSA office by Dec. 2.  The elected member will take office on 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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