What's up at the FSA Office?

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


November 21: Deadline: NAP for Apples, Aronina Berries, and Grapes
November 24: Office closed due to Thanksgiving
December 1: Deadline: NAP for Honey
December 12: Deadline: ECP application sign up
December 15:    Deadline: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
December 16: Deadline: 2017 MPP decision

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) Application Deadline December 12
Due to flooding and heavy rains in Allamakee County, farms suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Allamakee County Farm Service Agency (FSA) if the damage:
• will be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use
• is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area
• affect the productive capacity of the farmland
• will impair or endanger the land.
There is NO GUARANTEE for funding at this time, but a producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. No producer is eligible for more than $200,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrence. The following types of measures may be eligible:
• removing debris from farmland
• grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland
• restoring permanent fences
• restoring conservation structures and other similar installations.

Producers who have suffered a loss due to flooding or heavy rainfall may contact the Allamakee FSA County Office and apply for assistance from October 12, 2016 to December 12, 2016. To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until all of the following are met:
• an application for cost-share assistance has been filed
• the local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an onsite inspection of the damaged area
• the Agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earthmoving, etc., required for rehabilitation.

Fall Certification
The deadline to report acres of forage and pasture for 2017 is December 15.  Late file fees will be assessed for each farm not meeting the December 15 deadline.  Make sure to get into the FSA office and certify any hay and pasture ground.

Margin Protection Program 2017 coverage of election deadline December 16
Area dairy producers have until December 16 to make a decision for their 2017 coverage election for the Margin Protection Program (MPP).  The Margin Protection Program offers dairy producers protection when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount (margin) selected by the producer.
Catastrophic coverage begins at $4.00 with an administration fee of $100.00 and no premium for the producer.  Producers have the option to buy-up coverage of $0.50 increments up to $8.00.  When buy-up coverage is elected, an administration fee of $100.00 will be collected and a premium will be calculated.  Payments will be triggered when average actual dairy production margin for a consecutive two-month period is less than the coverage level threshold selected by the participating dairy operation.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) Application Deadlines Approaching
County producers growing noninsured crops: fruit, honey, and maple sap to name a few, seeking reassurance in times of a disaster may be eligible for the FSA program NAP.  NAP provides financial assistance to producers who grow noninsurable crop to protect against natural disasters that cause lower yields, crop losses, or prevents crop planting.  For crops to be eligible for NAP, the crops must be commercially produced as an agriculture commodity for which producers share in the risk of producing and are entitled to a share of the commodity available for marketing.
Producers must apply for NAP coverage by the application closing date for each particular crop in the county.  Upcoming deadlines for applying for NAP coverage include:
• November 21, 2016 for apples, aronia berries, and grapes
• December 1, 2016 for honey.

NAP provides the basic coverage equivalent to the catastrophic risk protection level of crop insurance.  Basic coverage is equal to 50 percent of the yield at 55 percent of the average market price established by FSA. A service fee of $250.00 per crop, but not exceed $750.00 per producer, is required when selecting basic coverage.  NAP also offers additional levels of coverage, which requires payment of a premium in addition to the basic service fee.

For more information on NAP coverage or any questions related to FSA programs, please contact the Allamakee County Farm Service Agency office in Waukon at 563-568-2148.