What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
November 11: Closed in Observance of Veterans Day
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC)
Sign up for 2020 coverage runs from October 7 – December 13, 2019. Every operation that will participate in 2020 needs to stop in and sign a new application that certifies you are still marketing milk, including those producers who locked in for 5 years (even though you can’t change your coverage levels).

Every participating operation will have to pay the $100 Admin Fee (unless waived) at the time of application, and pay the 2020 premium by September 1, 2020. If you did not lock in, you can make the same elections, new elections, or choose not to participate in 2020. If you decide not to participate in 2020, you can still participate in later years.

Upcoming Public Meeting for the 2019/2020 Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs
The Allamakee and Winneshiek FSA offices are partnering with Iowa State Extension to hold a Farm Bill Decision meeting on December 11. The meeting will take place at the Danan Lansing Building, Winneshiek County Fairgrounds, and begins at 1 p.m. Topics will include program rules and regulations, the ARC or PLC decision, farm stress management and related resources. Allamakee County FSA also plans to hold one or two other meetings (with just FSA) around the county including in Waukon and in the Lansing-area. Those dates have not been set yet. We’d encourage you to attend at least one of the meetings before signing up for the program.

Signup for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020 while signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30. Producers can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office.

ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.

ARC and PLC have options for the farm operator who is actively farming the land as well as the owner of the land. Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA county office together, FSA can also update yield information during that visit.

Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

Farm Storage Facility Loans
FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks.

The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water). Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for eligible commodities.

Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security agreement and loans between $50,000 and $100,000 may require additional security. Loans exceeding $100,000 require additional security.

Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved producers.

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