What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

The next Allamakee County Committee meeting will be Thursday, March 10 at 9 a.m. in the Allamakee County Conference Room.

February 26, 2016 is the deadline for General CRP program.

New General CRP Sign-up
December 1, 2015through February 26, 2016 is the new general CRP sign-up. Land that is not currently enrolled in CRP may be offered for enrollment during CRP sign-up 49. In addition, CRP participants with contracts expiring September 30, 2016 may submit offers at this time. Accepted contracts for CRP sign-up 49 will become effective October 1, 2016.
NOTE: Please do not wait until February 26, 2016 deadline, due to determining eligibility per crop history and other steps in the CRP signup process.

CRP Reminder
CRP producers who have buffer strips, waterways, etc. in fields where the rest of the land can be cropped, you should review the CRP acres to make sure the size requirement is the same or if there is some encroaching happening.
If you rent the cropland out, sit down with your renter to make sure they understand the CRP regulations, number of acres under contract, and if there were to be a violation the penalty will be assessed to the participants who signed the CRP contract. As the landowner on the CRP contract, it is your responsibility to make sure the CRP acres are incompliance.
If you have any questions on this reminder, contact the Allamakee County FSA Office at 563-568-2148.

NEW: General Eligibility
Requirements for
New FSFL Commodities

The Secretary of Agriculture has recently determined there is a need for on-farm storage, drying and handling equipment for additional commodities. Therefore, using authority provided in the 2008 Act, the following new storable commodities are added as eligible for FSFL loans: aquaculture; floriculture; hops; maple sap; meat and poultry; milk (bulk tanks); rye; and butter, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.

Approval Requirements
FSFL approval requirements for new eligible commodities are the same as for all other FSFLs. Applicants requesting FSFLs are required to submit the following with the loan application:
• $100 loan application fee per applicant or borrower
• balance sheet prepared within the last 90 calendar days
• income and expense projections for the borrower’s farm operation
• cost estimates and building plans
• proof of crop insurance, NAP coverage, MPP-Dairy participation, or LGM  participation
• exact location and size of the structure for the environmental evaluation
• planting and crop history records if not already available in the County Office.

FSFL Requirements for Meat and Poultry Cold Storage and Handling
Eligible Livestock Species - For FSFL purposes, the following are eligible livestock species: adult or non-adult beef cattle; adult or non-adult beefalo; adult or non-adult buffalo; adult or non-adult dairy cattle; elk; moose; alpacas; deer; emus; goats; llamas; rabbit; poultry, including egg-producing poultry; sheep; swine.
For storage purposes, the slaughtered meat and poultry may also be: cured (salt or sugar); cut/sliced; smoked; ground.
Note: All applicable State laws must be followed by the producer for storing the slaughtered meat and poultry in the FSFL storage facility.
For FSFL purposes, all other processing methods, such as but not limited to the following, are not eligible for a meat and poultry FSFL: cooking; baking; churning; canning; jarring; dyeing.

Determining the Meat and Poultry Storage Need
For a producer to be considered eligible for a meat and poultry FSFL, COC must determine the producer owned the eligible livestock species for at least 30 calendar days.
The quality of meat and poultry can only be maintained for a limited period of time. Cold storage facilities can extend this period of time, but in no case will a cold storage facility maintain the quality of meat and poultry for longer than one year. Applicants must show a need for the meat and poultry storage capacity using one year of production.

Types of Structures and Equipment Eligible for Meat/Poultry Cold Storage
Eligible Structures - FSFL-financed structures for meat and poultry must be used for the purpose for which constructed, assembled, or installed for the entire FSFL term. Meat and poultry storage facilities, with a useful life of at least 15 years, and eligible for FSFLs include the following:
• a new facility of wood pole and post construction, steel or concrete, suitable for storing meat and poultry products
• new walk-in prefabricated, permanently installed cold storage coolers that are suitable for storing meat and poultry products.

Eligible Components - Eligible permanently affixed equipment necessary for a meat and poultry FSFL may include the following: • baggers; boxers; cement flooring; ice machines; freezers; circulation; cold dip tanks; drying tunnels; dumpers; conveyors; filler tanks; hydro-lifts; hydro-coolers; hoppers; graders; sizers; refrigeration units; electrical equipment, such as lighting, motors, and wiring integral to the proper operation of a meat and poultry storage facility; roller spray units; sorting bins/tables; washers; weight graders.
Notes: The area of a structure required to house eligible handling equipment is eligible, in addition to the cold storage space. All eligible components financed with FSFL funds must be insured.

Ineligible Structures and Components - The following, but not limited to, are ineligible for a meat and poultry FSFL: livestock housing facilities; slaughter and/or processing facilities and/or plants; processing equipment; portable handling and cooling equipment; portable or permanent weigh scales; portable structures, including structures on wheels; portable storage containers; structures of temporary nature; components and/or structures, determined by STC or COC, not suitable for meat and   poultry storage.
Anyone interested in this new Farm Service Loan Facility Program should contact the Allamakee County FSA Office at 563-568-2148.