What's up at the FSA Office?

by Allamakee County Executive Director Joyce Davidshofer

The next Allamakee County FSA committee meeting will be October 30 at 9 a.m. in the Allamakee County FSA Conference Room.

April 15, 2014 – January 30, 2015 sign-up for the LIP/LFP/ELAP/TAP programs.
September 2, 2014 – November 28, 2014 – MPP- Dairy Program
September 29, 2014 – February 27, 2015 – PLC/ARC-CO/ARC-IC Base acres reallocation and yield update process to be completed.
IMPORTANT: November 1, 2014 – December 30, 2015 – Forage, pasture, grasses certification due for spring 2015 year. Late file fee will apply and no waivers will be granted.

MPP-Dairy Program
Remember the sign-up for the MPP-Dairy Program is from September 2, 2014 to November 28, 2014 for the 2014 and/or 2015 milk calendar years. The Allamakee County FSA office will need the 2011, 2012 and 2013 pounds for each year before signing up.
If producers have questions on this program please contact the Allamakee County FSA Office. We are willing to work with small groups in the office to talk over the MPP program with you. Please call to set up a time.

ARC/PLC Farm Program Updates
For the 2014 and 2015 farm bill election of PLC, ARC-CO or ARC-IC, the Allamakee County FSA office needs landowners to notify the Allamakee County FSA Office if there is a change of operator on their farm from 2014 to 2015 crop year. We will need to know who the current operators on the farm.
If a landowner sold their farm and the new owner did not come into the Allamakee FSA Office to report the change, this will affect the new farm program. The records need to be updated as soon as possible.
1. The landowners for the PLC/ARC-CO/ARC-IC program select the base acres reallocation or if the landowner will keep the current 2013 base. This also goes for the yields if the landowner will be updating yields or will keep the past yields. The timeframe for the owners to complete this process is September 29, 2014 – February 27, 2015.
2. The current producer with the interest in crop land will elect which farm bill program - PLC, ARC-IC or ARC-CO option to go with.
NOTE: There will be no changing each year between elections of PLC, ARC-IC or ARC-CO. The program that is elected for 2014 goes from 2014-2018 crop years. The timeframe for the elections for current operators will be November 17, 2014 – March 31, 2015.
• PLC or ARC County on a covered commodity-by-commodity basis.
• ARC Individual for all covered commodities on the farm.
3. ARC/PLC Enrollment
Estimate timeframe is Mid-April 2015 – Summer of 2015. Official dates will be announced in future columns.
a. Producers/Operators will be signing contracts to participate in the ARC/PLC for 2014 and 2015 crop years.
Call or stop in to schedule an appointment to meet with an FSA employee on the ARC/PLC program.

Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy) for dairy producers. The new, voluntary risk management program replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program which expires on September 1, 2014.
MPP-Dairy offers protection to dairy producers when the difference (the margin) between the all-milk price and national average feed cost falls below a certain producer selected amount.
Eligible producers may purchase coverage for their dairy operation by paying an annual administrative fee of $100 and a premium, as applicable, for higher levels of coverage. Producers in the dairy operation will have to select a desired coverage level ranging from $4.00 to $8.00, in $0.50 increments and a desired coverage percentage level ranging from 25 to 90 percent, in 5 percent increments. Producers will also have to decide whether or not to participate in the MPP-Dairy Program or the Livestock Gross Margin program administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), but they will not be allowed to participate in both.
A decision tool will be made available in the fall of 2014 to help producers make coverage level decisions. Enrollment will also begin this fall. Dairy operators will establish their production history during sign-up. Verification of the production records will be required. The regulations for MPP-dairy are still being developed. Additional information about the program will be provided as it becomes available.

USDA Reminds Farmers of 2014 Farm Bill Conservation Compliance Changes
Changes mandated through the 2014 Farm Bill require producers to have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026) on file. For farmers to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance, a completed and signed AD-1026 form must be on file with the FSA. Since many FSA and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs have this requirement, most producers should already have an AD-1026 on file. If producers have not filed, they must do so by June 1, 2015.
When a farmer completes the AD-1026, FSA and NRCS staff will outline any additional actions that may be required for compliance with the provisions. The Risk Management Agency, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), manages the federal crop insurance program that provides the modern farm safety net for American farmers and ranchers.
Since enactment of the 1985 Farm Bill, eligibility for most commodity, disaster and conservation programs has been linked to compliance with the highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation provisions. The 2014 Farm Bill continues the requirement that producers adhere to conservation compliance guidelines to be eligible for most programs administered by FSA and NRCS. This includes the new price and revenue protection programs, the Conservation Reserve Program, the Livestock Disaster Assistance programs and Marketing Assistance Loans implemented by FSA. It also includes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program, and other conservation programs.
FSA recently released a revised form AD-1026, which is available at USDA Service Centers and online at: www.fsa.usda.gov. USDA will publish a rule later this year that will provide details outlining the connection of conservation compliance with crop insurance premium support.  Producers can also contact their local USDA Service Center for information. A listing of service center locations is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/contact/local/.

REMINDER: Farm Bill Allows Early Termination for Certain CRP Contracts
Producers with acres under contract through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can apply for early contract termination, as required by the 2014 Farm Bill.  The deadline to request early CRP contract termination is January 30, 2015.
The effective date for early termination is no earlier than October 1, 2014. The CRP contract must been in effect for at least five years and other conditions must be met.  The 2014 Farm Bill identifies 10 exceptions whereby land will not be eligible for the early-out provisions.  For a complete list of these exceptions, please view the program fact sheet online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/crp_opt_out_fact_sht.pdf.
Once a CRP contract termination request is approved by the FSA County Committee, the decision cannot be reversed and the contract cannot be reinstated. Producers must meet conservation compliance provisions for all land that will be returned to production.
For more information on, or to determine eligibility for, early termination of existing CRP contracts, please contact your local FSA office.  For local FSA Service Center contact information, please visit: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.