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.

New CRP Grasslands Program Sign-up
CRP grasslands is a voluntary program where participants receive annual rental payments to limit future development and cropping uses of the land while retaining the right to use common grazing practices and operations related to the production of forage and seed.
The sign-up period has started and will continue until November 20, 2015. The offers may be submitted continuously and will be evaluated periodically.
Eligible offers will be ranked periodically at the FSA National Office using a national ranking process.
CRP Grassland contracts are for 14 to 15 years in duration.
Cropping history is not a requirement.
For a person to eligible, they must meet normal CRP eligibility criteria. (Example – must own the land for a year)
The acreage enrollment is limited to two million acres nationwide.
For Allamakee County the rental rate is $26.00 per acre.
If you are interested or have questions about this new program, contact the Allamakee County FSA Office at 563-568-2148.

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.