What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting Allamakee County Executive Director

Nov. 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
Dec. 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision
Oct 4-18: Annual CRP Rental payments to be issued
Oct 5-7: Payments issued for ARC-Co and PLC programs
Nov 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
Dec 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision

Price Support
As you harvest your grain and are looking for some additional income this fall, consider putting your grain up as collateral for a Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) at the FSA office.  Loans disbursed during the month of October are at an interest rate of 1.625%.  Grain must be harvested and stored in a safe farm-stored structure or in a warehouse to be eligible for loan. Loan rates for Allamakee County are:
Corn - $1.87        Oats - $1.43        Soybeans - $4.99

Farm Stored Facility Loans (FSFL)
The FSFL program may be an option for you if you are interested in putting up a bin or buying a piece of equipment that transports grain or hay or feed.   This includes items such as grain carts and augers in addition to storage or drying bins.  Interest rates and terms vary depending on the amount borrowed and the useful life of the items.  The October rate for a 3-year loan is at .875 % interest.  A 12 year loan is at 1.75%.  Note that recently rules were updated to allow loans on used items in addition to new equipment or bins. 

Conservation Reserve Program
Congress has set the national limit for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres at 24 million acres.  We are nearing that cap.  We encourage you to evaluate your cropland uses and determine if the Continuous CRP program is something that could be utilized on your farm.  If you are serious about a CRP offer, you should stop at FSA soon.

New applications will be processed in national batches and once the limit is reached, new enrollments will be extremely limited.  There are many practices of CRP, one being filter strips along water bodies.  There are responsibilities associated with being a CRP contract holder, so it is necessary for you to understand the expectations prior to enrolling land into this multi-year program.  

Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC)
Many farms in Allamakee County have highly erodible land.  These fields must be following conservation plans that are established by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).  Some plans were developed in the 1980’s.  If you are not following your soil saving plan, you may be in violation of the HELC provisions.  Violations could have fines that are up to $10,000 per farm and prevent you from obtaining all government payments.  We encourage you to be cautious when developing your tillage plans for crop year 2017.  If you haven’t reviewed your conservation plan in a while, it’s time to do it.  Stop at the USDA Service Center to review plans on all the land you operate.