What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

The Allamakee County Committee meeting will be held July 17 at 9 a.m.
Note: Service Agency County Committee nomination period began June 15 and ends August 1, 2014.
The LAA for elections this year include the townships of Ludlow, Jefferson, Post, Franklin, Linton and Fairview. Donald McCormick presently is the member of the Allamakee County Committee. He has served three  three-year terms and cannot run for re-election. The Allamakee County FSA Office is in search of persons interested in serving on the Allamakee County Committee starting January 1, 2015 for a three-year term.
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where the person is nominated.
Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the Allamakee County FSA Service Center by close of business August 1, 2014. Elections will take place this fall.
While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers.
FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning November 3, 2014. Ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by December 1, 2014. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office January 1, 2015.
If anyone has any questions in regards to the Allamakee County FSA elections for the county committee member, call 563-568-2148.

April 15, 2014 – January 30, 2015 sign-up for the LIP/LFP/ELAP/TAP programs.
June 9, 2014 – September 30, 2014 – CRP Continuous CRP Sign-up 46.
June 9, 2014 – August 8, 2014 – CRP contracts expiring September 30, 2014 can extend for one year.
There will be no General CRP Sign-up for 2014.
July 15, 2014 – Crop certification deadline.
July 16-20, 2014 – FSA/NRCS booth will at the Allamakee County Fair Exhibit building. Stop in to see us.    
November 1, 2014 – December 30, 2015 – Forage, pasture, grasses certification due for spring 2015 year. Late file fee will apply, no waivers.

Continuous CRP Sign-Up
Under continuous sign-up authority, 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. Unlike CRP enrollments under general sign-up authority, offers for continuous sign-up are not subject to competitive bidding.
The effective date of the CRP contract is the first day of the month following the month of approval. In certain circumstances, producers may defer the effective date for up to six months.
If the acreage is currently under CRP contract and is within one year of the scheduled expiration date, the effective date is October 1 following the expiration date.
To offer land for continuous sign-up, producers should contact the Allamakee County FSA Office.
To be eligible, land must be cropland that is planted or considered planted to an agricultural commodity four of the previous six crop years from 2008 to 2013, and is physically and legally capable of being planted (no planting restrictions due to an easement or other legally binding instrument) in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity.
Sign-up began June 9, 2014 – September 30, 2014 for Sign-up 46.
1. TIP – CRP – June 9, 2014 – before September 30, 2014 – Iowa has $935,000 for allocation. Landowners retiring and CRP is expiring can rent the farm to a beginning farmer or veteran and receive up to two years of CRP payments. Contact the Allamakee County FSA Office for more details.
2. CRP one-year extensions – June 9th – August 8, 2014. Not for 15 years contracts. CRP producers should have received a letter from Kansas City in regards to their CRP contract expiring October 1, 2014. There is an option to extend the contract for one year for the same rental rate. You may modify the acres to fewer acres, but cannot increase acres for this one year. Contact the Allamakee County FSA Office for more details.

Disaster Programs
LFP- Livestock Forage Disaster Program for 2012 crop year for drought. We need to certify the 2012 pasture land which most of the producers did not certify that year.
LIP- Livestock Indemnity Program – Cattle lost to adverse weather events, normal mortality will be part of this calculation process.
ELAP – Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised Fish Program. Deadline is August 1, 2014.
Eligible producers can sign up for the following livestock disaster assistance programs:
Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP):
• LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought on privately owned or cash leased land or fire on federally managed land. Eligible producers must physically be located in a county affected by a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the county. Producers who suffered eligible grazing losses should submit a completed CCC-853 and supporting documentation by January 30, 2015.
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP):
• LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. Producers who suffered livestock death losses should submit a notice of loss and an application for payment to their local FSA office by January 30, 2015.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP):
• ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires. ELAP assistance is provided for losses not covered by LFP and LIP. Producers who suffered eligible livestock, honeybee or farm-raised fish losses during 2012 and 2013 program years must submit a notice of loss and application for payment to their local FSA office by August 1, 2014. For 2014 program year losses, the notice of loss and an application for payment must be submitted by November 1, 2014.

ARC/PLC First Step Process
Kansas City will be sending letters out to all landowners to notify the commodity acreage history for the years 2009-2012. All landowners/operators are to review the history presented in this letter.
If there is any years missing reported acres, contact the Allamakee County FSA Office.  Reasons there may be years missing is if you sold part of the farm, sold part of a parcel (tract), transferred in a farm or transferred out a farm/tract of the county and/or other situations not mentioned here.
This is the first step in for the Allamakee FSA Office to research each farm missing data. There are approximately 2102 farms in Allamakee. This step will allow owners to update or retain the current base and yields. Bases will not be increased, but can be reallocated. More to come on this first step.
If you have any questions, contact the Allamakee County FSA Office at 563-568-2148.

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