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.

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; 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 Butter, Cheese, Eggs, and Yogurt Storage and Handling

Storage Need
Requirements for Butter, Cheese, Eggs and Yogurt
Determining the Storage Need: For a producer to be considered eligible for an FSFL for butter, cheese, eggs and yogurt, COC must determine the producer owned or has leased the producing animal, hen, or other egg laying species or livestock for at least 30 calendar days. The eligible producer’s individually packaged or bulk butter, cheese, eggs and yogurt products are eligible for storage.
Applicants must show a need for the storage capacity as determined. Perishable commodities and their quality 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 the perishable commodities for longer than one year. The storage capacity need will be determined based on production for one year.

Eligible Structures
FSFL-financed structures must be used for the purpose for which constructed, assembled or installed for the entire FSFL term. Cold storage facilities, with a useful life of at least 15 years, and eligible for FSFL’s include the following:
• a new facility of wood pole and post construction, steel, or concrete suitable for storing the eligible commodities produced by the producer
• new walk-in prefabricated, permanently installed cold storage coolers that are suitable for storing the producer’s eligible commodity.

FSFL eligible cold storage structures must be built:
• of such quality that the structure can be insured
• to protect the eligible commodity from contaminants
• to support local climate conditions for the area.

Cold storage facilities must be built according to acceptable design guidelines from the manufacturer, NIFA or land-grant universities.

Eligible Components
Eligible permanently affixed equipment necessary for butter, cheese, eggs and yogurt FSFL may include the following: Baggers, boxers, cement flooring, ice machines, circulation fans, drying tunnels, dumpers, conveyors, filler tanks, freezers, hydro-lifts, hydro-coolers, hoppers, graders, sizers, refrigeration units, electrical equipment, such as lighting, motors, and wiring integral for the proper operation of the cold 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.

Changing Bank Accounts
All FSA payments should be electronically transferred into your bank account. In order to make timely payments, you need to notify the office if you close your account or if your bank is purchased by another financial institution. Payments can be delayed if we are not aware of changes to account and routing numbers.

Power of Attorney
For those who find it difficult to visit the county office personally because of work schedules, distance, health, etc., FSA has a power of attorney form available that enables you to designate another person to conduct your business at the office. If you are interested, contact the Allamakee County FSA Office or an office near you.

To be effective for the current Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, farm combinations and farm divisions must be requested by August 1, 2016, for farms subject to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. If you have any questions contact the Allamakee County FSA Office.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.