What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 2: County Committee Election Ballots Due
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

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 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.  There is no registration fee to attend, but pre-registration is strongly encouraged to allow planning for materials and seating.  Pre-register by calling your local ISU County Extension office hosting the meeting. Dates and nearby locations are listed below.  Allamakee County FSA also plans to hold one or two other meetings (with just FSA) around the county including in Waukon and 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, 2020. Producers can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office.

Winneshiek County & Allamakee County  
Phone: 563-382-2949
Wednesday, December 11, 1 p.m., Danan Lansing Building, Winneshiek County Fairgrounds, 900 E. Main St., Decorah

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.

New Farmers.gov Feature HelpsProducers Find Farm Loans that Fit Their Operation
A new online tool can help farmers and ranchers find information on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm loans that may best fit their operations. USDA has launched the new Farm Loan Discovery Tool as the newest feature on farmers.gov, the Department’s self-service website for farmers.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations. From buying land to financing the purchase of equipment, FSA loans can help. Compared to this time last year, FSA has seen an 18 percent increase in the amount it has obligated for direct farm ownership loans, and through the 2018 Farm Bill, has increased the limits for several loan products.

USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges.

Farmers who are looking for financing options to operate a farm or buy land can answer a few simple questions about what they are looking to fund and how much money they need to borrow. After submitting their answers, farmers will be provided information on farm loans that best fit their specific needs. The loan application and additional resources also will be provided.

Farmers can download application quick guides that outline what to expect from preparing an application to receiving a loan decision. There are four guides that cover loans to individuals, entities, and youth, as well as information on microloans. The guides include general eligibility requirements and a list of required forms and documentation for each type of loan. These guides can help farmers prepare before their first USDA service center visit with a loan officer.

Farmers can access the Farm Loan Discovery Tool by visiting farmers.gov/fund and clicking the “Start” button. Follow the prompts and answer five simple questions to receive loan information that is applicable to your agricultural operation. The tool is built to run on any modern browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or the Safari browser, and is fully functional on mobile devices. It does not work in Internet Explorer.

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