What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season. No MCM activities on CRP acres.
June 3 - August 23: CRP Continuous Signup 52 
June 14: COC Nominations Begin
June 17 - Sept. 20: Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up
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. Late-filed crop reports are assessed a $46 (per) farm visit fee.

Revisions to Crop Reports
The Farm Service Agency will assess a measurement service fee ($46) by FSA farm number for any revisions to crop reports after the crop reporting deadline of July 15. Always review your crop reports prior to the deadline to ensure that crops, planting dates, intended uses, acres and shares are correct.

Power of Attorney
For those who find it difficult to visit the county office personally because of work schedules, distance, health, etc., FSA has a power of attorney form available that enables you to designate another person to conduct your business at the office. If you are interested, please contact our office or any Farm Service Agency office near you for more information. Power of Attorney provisions do not apply to farm loan programs. 

Changing Bank Accounts
All FSA payments should be electronically transferred into your bank account. In order to make timely payments, you need to notify the office if you close your account or if your bank is purchased by another financial institution. Payments can be delayed if we are not aware of changes to account and routing numbers.

Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Compliance
Landowners and operators are reminded that to receive payments from USDA, compliance with HEL and WC provisions are required. Farmers with HEL determined soils are reminded of tillage, crop residue, and rotation requirements as specified per their conservation plan. Producers are to notify the USDA Farm Service Agency prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to insure compliance. Failure to obtain advance approval for any of these situations can result in the loss of eligibility and all     Federal payments.

County Committee (COC) Election
FSA is now accepting nominations for county committee members. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. The last day to file a nomination is August 1. Forms can be obtained online or at our office.

Committees make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Their input is vital on how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

This year the election will be for LAA -1, which includes Waterloo, Union City, Hanover, French Creek, Union Prairie, and Makee townships. 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 December 2. The elected member will take office on January 1. If you want more information, please call or stop by the office.

Dairy Margin Coverage
Signup for new Dairy Margin Coverage program began on June 17 and runs through September 20, 2019. Coverage is retroactive to January. 

Coverage levels range from $4 to $9.50 per cwt, in $0.50 increments. Coverage percentage of the dairy operation’s production history ranges from 5 percent to 95 percent, in 5 percent increments. You have the option to receive a 25% discount on your annual premiums if you lock in for five years. You cannot change your coverage if you lock in.

The Farm Bill also allows producers who participated in MPP-Dairy from 2014-2017 to receive a repayment or credit for part of the premiums paid into the program. Producers that elect the premium reimbursement will have that 75% credit applied to their 2019 DMC premiums.

Eligible dairy operations must have a production history determined by FSA. For most operations, production history is based on the highest milk production in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Newer dairy operations have other options for determining production history. Producers may contact their local FSA office to get their verified production history.

FSA and the University of Wisconsin partnered on the development of a DMC decision support tool that helps producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest coverage. Access the tool at https://dairymarkets.org/MPP.

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