What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

The next Allamakee County Committee meeting will be held in the Allamakee County FSA Office conference room Thursday, June 11 at 9 a.m.

June 15 - August 3: Nominations can be received for the COC elections.
July 4: Office closed.
July 15: Deadline to certify all crops and CRP acres.
August 1: Last day to request a reconstitution for 2015.

USDA-NASS Seeks Input from Farmers About 2015 Crop, Stocks, and Livestock Numbers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Iowa Field Office will be contacting a sample of producers between May 29 and June 15. NASS representatives will visit selected areas of land in Iowa and conduct personal interviews with the operators of land within those areas, while other producers will also be contacted by mail or telephone to report on crop acreage, grain stocks and livestock inventories. If you are contacted by NASS, we encourage your participation and cooperation.
Your participation will not only help NASS provide data that levels the playing field for farmers, giving them access to the same information as grain buyers, packers, and input suppliers, but also help provide the information used by many USDA programs. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) uses the NASS published estimates to evaluate and administer vital farm credit, conservation, disaster, loan and commodity programs. The information is also used extensively by state, local and national leaders to address agricultural related issues that may impact producers. As you can see, taking a few minutes to respond to a NASS survey helps ensure the accuracy and quality of this data that is used by so many in the agricultural industry.
Any information you provide is kept confidential and protected by federal law. NASS publishes only aggregate-level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified.  Upcoming NASS reports, based on data from these surveys, and their release dates are: Quarterly Hogs and Pigs June 26 as well as Acreage and Grain Stocks June 30.  All reports will be available on the internet at www.nass.usda.gov. If you have any questions about how to complete a survey from the NASS Iowa Field Office, call 1-800-772-0825.

MAL & LDP Policy Changes for Crop Years 2015-2018
The Agricultural Act of 2014 authorized 2014-2018 crop year Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs), with a few minor policy changes.
Among the changes, farm-stored MAL collateral transferred to warehouse storage will retain the original loan rate, be allowed to transfer only the outstanding farm-stored quantity with no additional quantity allowed and will no longer require producers to have a paid for measurement service when moving or commingling loan collateral.
MALs and LDPs provide financing and marketing assistance for wheat, feed grains, soybeans, and other oilseeds, pulse crops, rice, peanuts, cotton, wool and honey. MALs provide producers interim financing after harvest to help them meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. A producer who is eligible to obtain a loan, but agrees to forgo the loan, may obtain an LDP if such a payment is available.
FSA is now accepting requests for 2015 MALs and LDPs for wool as well as LDPs for unshorn pelts. MAL and LDP requests for all other eligible commodities will be accepted after harvest. FSA continues to accept MAL and LDP requests for 2014 crops with upcoming deadlines.
Before MAL repayments and LDP disbursements can be made, producers must meet the requirements of actively engaged in farming, cash rent tenant and member contribution.
Additionally, form CCC-902 and CCC-901 must be submitted for the 2014 crop year, if applicable, with a county committee determination and updated subsidiary files.
To be considered eligible for an LDP, producers must have form CCC-633EZ, Page 1 on file at their local FSA Office before losing beneficial interest in the crop. Pages 2, 3 or 4 of the form must be submitted when payment is requested.
The 2014 Farm Bill also establishes payment limitations per individual or entity not to exceed $125,000 annually on certain commodities for the following program benefits: price loss coverage payments, agriculture risk coverage payments, marketing loan gains (MLGs) and LDPs. These payment limitations do not apply to MAL loan disbursements.
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provisions were modified by the 2014 Farm Bill, which states that a producer whose total applicable three-year average AGI exceeds $900,000 is not eligible to receive an MLG or LDP.
For more information and additional eligibility requirements, visit the Allamakee County FSA Office or FSA’s website, www.fsa.usda.gov.

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 is the deadline to certify all crops and CRP acres.

Filing a Notice of Loss
The CCC-576, Notice of Loss, is used to report failed acreage and prevented planting and may be completed by any producer with an interest in the crop. Timely filing a Notice of Loss is required for all crops including grasses. For losses on crops covered by the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and crop insurance, you must file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss, in the FSA County Office within 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent.
If filing for prevented planting, an acreage report and CCC-576 must be filed within 15 calendar days of the final planting date for the crop.  

Producers Must Report Prevented Planting, Failed Acres
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), reminds producers to report prevented planting and failed acres in order to establish or retain FSA program eligibility.
Producers must report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to natural disaster, were prevented from planting. Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form FSA-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA).
If a producer is unable to report the prevented planting acreage within the 15 calendar days following the final planting date, a late-filed report can be submitted.  Late-filed reports will only be accepted if FSA conducts a farm visit to assess the eligible disaster condition that prevented the crop from being planted. A measurement service fee will be charged.
Additionally, producers with failed acres should also use form FSA-576, Notice of Loss, to report failed acres.
For losses on crops covered by the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and crop insurance, producers must file a Notice of Loss within 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent. Producers must timely file a Notice of Loss for failed acres on all crops including grasses.
Contact the Allamakee County FSA Office to schedule an appointment to file a Notice of Loss.
2015 Allamakee County Committee Elections
Producers elect farmers and ranchers to County Committees. The following are some of the requirements for being a candidate to serve on a County Committee:
• Be of legal voting age.
• Live in the LAA holding an election.
• Participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA.
The LAA #3 is up for elections. The townships are Iowa, Lansing, Center, La Fayette, Paint Creek and Taylor.
The nomination period begins June 15 and ends August 3. Request nomination forms from the Allamakee County FSA Office or online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections