What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

November 11: Office closed for Veteran’s Day.
November 20, 2015: Deadline to sign up for the 2016 Dairy Program.
December 15: Deadline to certify hay/grass acres.
October 1, 2015 – December 15: Forage (alfalfa), pasture, grass, and fall seed crops certification are required to be certified by December 15, 2015 for spring 2016 crop year. Late file fee will apply and no waivers will be granted. The late file fee will be $46 per farm.

CRP Payments
The majority of the CRP payments have been issued as of October 14. There are some with problems and those are being worked on as a top priority. If there are any questions in regards to your CRP payment, give the office a call at 563-568-2148.

2014 ARC/PLC Payments
As of this date, the Allamakee County Office does not know when the 2014 ARC/PLC payments will be released.  

USDA Extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline
 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until November 20, 2015. The program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
“The fall harvest is a busy time of the year for agriculture, so this extension will ensure that dairy producers have more time to make their choices,” said Vilsack. “We encourage all operations to examine the protections offered by this program, because despite the very best forecasts, markets can change.”
Vilsack encouraged producers to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Agency Service (FSA) online Web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.
He also reminded producers that were enrolled in 2015 that they need to make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee. Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until September 1, 2016.

Nonrecourse Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) and Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP) Programs
MALs provide producers interim financing at harvest time to help them meet cash flow needs when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. MALs for covered commodities are nonrecourse because the commodity is pledged as loan collateral and producers have the option of delivering the pledged collateral to the CCC as full payment for the loan at maturity. A producer who is eligible to obtain a loan, but who agrees to forgo the loan, may obtain an LDP. An LDP is the amount by which the applicable loan rate exceeds the alternative loan repayment rate for the respective commodity.

Allamakee County Loan Rates are as follows:
Corn - $1.87 per bushel
Oats - $1.43 per bushel
Soybeans - $4.99 per bushel
Barley - $1.70 per bushel
FSA is now accepting applications for all eligible commodities. For expedited service, interested producers are encouraged to schedule an appointment. Other program restrictions may apply, including limits on total payments or gross income thresholds. Consult with the Allamakee FSA office for further details. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport