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 not 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.

Acreage Reporting
Filing an accurate acreage report at a 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.

Attention CRP Producers
CRP producers who have a mid-contract management (MCM) practice or a wildlife food plot to complete in 2015 will need to have it completed by May 14, 2015.
May 14, 2015 through August 2, 2015 is the nesting season. MCM practices and wildlife food plots cannot be done during this time.
CRP producers who have NO MCM practice or wildlife food plot to complete and rent the remaining cropland to another producer can stop in the Allamakee County FSA office to certify their 2015 CRP acres as required per CRP regulations.
CRP producers who have a MCM practice or wildlife food plot will need to have the practice completed and bills submitted before they can certify their CRP acres.
CRP producers who have CRP acres and plant other crops will need to certify their acres when everything is planted or by July 15, 2015.
Haying, grazing or planting of an agriculture commodity on CRP acres is not allowed.
Wildlife food plots cannot be harvested.
If the CRP is being used for a roadway, hunting shacks or storing equipment it will considered in violation and subject to penalty or termination.
If there are other items not mentioned here, contact the Allamakee County FSA to see if it is allowed.
CRP grazing and haying which was released per office visit after August 2, 2015 will be randomly spot-checked.
Cosmically clipping or spraying CRP acres during the nesting season (May 14 through August 2) is not allowed. If there are noxious weeds on the CRP, producers must come in to the FSA office and show on a map where the noxious weeds are located and request permission to clip or spray. If a CRP producer does not have permission to clip or spray on file at the FSA office, this is a CRP violation.
All CRP producers need to certify their CRP acres every year in order to receive you CRP payment in the fall.
Contact the Allamakee County FSA Office at 563- 568-2148 with any questions.
Microloan Cap Grows
Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers that the FSA borrowing limit for microloans increased recently from $35,000 to $50,000. Microloans offer borrowers simplified lending with less paperwork.
The microloan change allows beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay. Microloans are part of USDA’s continued commitment to small and midsized farming operations.
To complement the microloan program additional changes to FSA eligibility requirements will enhance beginning farmer’s access to land, a key barrier to entry level producers. FSA policies related to farm experience have changed so that other types of skills may be considered to meet the direct farming experience required for farm ownership loan eligibility. Operation or management of non-farm businesses, leadership positions while serving in the military or advanced education in an agricultural field will now count towards the experience applicants need to show when applying for farm ownership loans.
Since 2010, FSA has made a record amount of farm loans — more than 165,000 loans totaling nearly $23 billion. More than 50 percent of USDA’s farm loans now go to beginning farmers. In addition, FSA has increased its lending to socially-disadvantaged producers by nearly 50 percent since 2010.
For more information about this program, contact Vicky Hinsenbrock, Farm Loan Manager, at 563-382-8777.