What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

• May 14 - August 2: Nesting season – No food plots or mid-contract management actives are allowed during this time.
• May 25: Memorial Day – Office Closed.
• May 31: Last day to receive a corn and/or soybean loan for 2014 crop.
• July 4: Office Closed
• July 15: Deadline to certify all crops and CRP acres.

Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers
The January and February 2015 payment trigger was recently announced. The national average margin between the price of milk and cost of feed was $7.99554/cwt., resulting in a MPP payment rate of $0.004456/cwt. for dairy operations who selected an $8.00 margin trigger coverage level for 2015. Payments were processed April 13, 2015. For the 2015 calendar year the 7.3% sequestration will be taken from the gross amount.

Acreage Reporting
Filing an accurate acreage report at your local FSA office can prevent the loss of benefits for a variety of programs. Failed acreage is acreage that was timely planted with the intent to harvest, but because of disaster related conditions, the crop failed before it could be brought to harvest. Prevented planting must be reported no later than 15 days after the final planting date. Annual acreage reports are required for most Farm Service Agency programs. Annual crop report deadlines vary based on region, crop, permanent vs. annual crop type, NAP or non-NAP crop and fall or winter seeding. July 15, 2015 is the deadline to certify all crops and CRP acres.

Breaking New Ground
Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with FSA and NRCS before breaking out new ground for production as doing so without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm program benefits in jeopardy. This is especially true for land that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions. Producers with HEL determined soils must apply tillage, crop residue and rotation requirements as specified in their conservation plan.
Producers should notify FSA prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to ensure compliance. If you intend to clear any trees to create new cropland, these areas will need to be reviewed to ensure any work will not risk your eligibility for benefits.
Landowners and operators can complete form AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification to determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is necessary.