What's up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• August 1 - ARC/PLC Sign-up
• May 31 - Marketing Assistance Loans for Prior Year Harvested Corn and soybeans:
• May 15 - August 2: Primary Nesting Season.  No Mid-Contract Management Activities on CRP acres   

CRP Mid-Contract Management
We would like to remind CRP producers who have Mid-Contract Management (MCM) scheduled for 2017 that the activity must be completed by May 14, 2017. Upon completion of the MCM activities, you will need to notify the FSA office that MCM has been completed by signing the FSA-848B form and providing acceptable evidence of the practice completion to determine proper cost share payment. Cost share for MCM is 50% Not to Exceed the per acre rate established for each MCM activity.

No MCM can be performed during the CRP nesting or brood rearing season of May 15 – August 2.  Participants with maintenance issues that require attention prior to the end of nesting   season must contact the county FSA office for permission prior to performing any spot spraying or spot mowing on CRP acres.  Failure to contact the county FSA office prior to any maintenance on CRP acres during nesting season may result in payment reductions or possible contract termination.

For questions or more information about maintenance and management activities of CRP acres, please visit the Allamakee FSA county office or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov.

Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC)
Due to the topography of Allamakee County, many farms have highly erodible land.  These fields must be following conservation plans that are established by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).  If you are not following your soil saving plan, you may be in violation of the HELC provisions.  Violations could have fines 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 the upcoming crop year.  If you haven’t reviewed your conservation plan in a while, it’s time to do so.  Stop at the USDA Service Center to review plans on all the land you operate. 

Beginning Farmers
The Farm Service Agency offers a wide array of loans to producers, and one of those loans is targeted towards beginning farmers.  FSA makes and guarantees loans to beginning farmers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial lenders.  To qualify as a beginning farmer, an individual or entity must not have operated, or substantially participated in the operation of, a farm for more than 10 years, and must not own a farm greater than 30% of the median farm size in the county.  For more information on loans for beginning farmers, please contact the local FSA office.