What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• April 9 - June 1: Margin Protection Program (MPP) Signup (Additional details below)
• May 15 - August 2: Primary Nesting Season. No Mid-Contract Management Activities on CRP Acres
• May 31: Marketing Assistance Loans for Prior Year Harvested Corn and Soybeans
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up

New Signup for the Margin Protection Program Signup for Dairy Producers
The registration and re-enrollment period for coverage year 2018 will begin April 9, 2018, and continues through June 1, 2018. The re-enrollment period allows dairy producers, including those that previously signed up and those that did not, an opportunity to make new elections for 2018. Coverage begins January 1, 2018. If a dairy operation previously elected coverage for 2018, a new coverage election for 2018 must be made during the re-enrollment period.

If a new election for 2018 is not made, the dairy operation will not have coverage for 2018 
Dairy producers can continue to opt out of the program, but please stop in and write a new note indicating such by June 1.

Changes to the program include:

• Premiums for small and medium-size farms would be eliminated on $4.50 and $5 coverage levels and reduced at all higher levels.
• The lower premium rates would apply to the first 5 million pounds of a farm’s historical production, up from the current limit of 4 million pounds.
• Waivers of administrative fees for socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning, and veteran producers; and
• Payments calculated on a monthly rather than a bimonthly basis.

The Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill through Dec. 31, 2018. Significant changes to MPP-Dairy for the 2018 coverage year are further authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The MPP-Dairy offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

CRP Mid-Contract Management
We would like to remind CRP producers who have Mid-Contract Management (MCM) scheduled for 2018 that the activity must be completed by May 14, 2018. 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 1.  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. 

Marketing Loans - Reminder
Grain that is under loan, or “sealed” as many producers call it, must be repaid or released for sale prior to moving the bushels out of storage for sale or feed use.  Unauthorized disposition results in possible penalties and administrative actions.  Remember to “call before you haul” and we can discuss your options and forms that you may need to sign.  Phone the FSA office at (563) 568-2148.

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.

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