What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Sept 27: Allamakee County Committee meeting at the USDA Service Center  9:00 a.m. start
Dec 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision

Grain Loans
FSA administers a grain loan program, Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL), that is available to local farmers who certify their crops.  Loans and loan deficiency payments provide interim financing to assist farmers with marketing decisions and financial security.  Farmers pledge their harvested grain as collateral for a nine month loan at FSA.  Corn stored in Allamakee County may be sealed for $1.87 per bushel.  The soybean loan rate is $4.99 and oats is sealed at $1.43 per bushel.  There are small service fees deducted from the loan proceeds.  Then farmers have up to nine months to repay the loan.  Grain held for sale or feed would both be eligible for this program.  Come in to the FSA office and we will be glad to go over your options for the grain loan program.

Emergency Conservation Program
At the last FSA County Committee meeting, it was decided that the damage received from heavy rains and flooding warranted an application for Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding.  There is no guarantee that the funding request will be granted, as it is subject to the availability of funds at the national level. 

At this point, an application period has not officially been announced.  However, the Allamakee County FSA office is now accepting information regarding losses that you have experienced for the following areas:

EC1    Removing debris from farmland
EC2    Grading, shaping, releveling, or similar measures
EC3    Restoring permanent fences
EC4    Restoring conservation structures and other installations
Important things to remember include:
1. Report your damage to the FSA office before you make repairs.  If possible, take dated photographs and bring them in.  This information is used to document your need for assistance.
2. Funding is not guaranteed for ECP.  You will be expected to pay for any and all repairs that are completed.  Do not incur expenses without understanding this funding restriction.
3. In most cases, $1000 is the minimum amount of damage that may qualify for ECP cost-share assistance
4. If ECP assistance is approved, the cost-share must not exceed 75% of the producer’s actual cost to perform the practice.
5. If your fence was destroyed, please repair it to ensure your livestock are safely contained and then come into the FSA office to fill out an application.  We will need to know the age, type and length of fence that was in place prior to the disaster.
6. ECP assistance is designed to rehabilitate cropland and conservation structures damaged by severe adverse weather events.  Cropland damage must be of such magnitude that it would be too costly for the producer to rehabilitate without Federal assistance. 
7. Structures (such as terraces) that are still under a maintenance agreement are not eligible for ECP funds during the time span of the maintenance agreement.

For ECP or any other FSA programs, please contact the Allamakee County FSA at 563-568-2148 for answers to your questions.