What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• January 15: Last day to apply for the Market Facilitation Program

County Committee Election
Producers in Iowa, Lansing, Center, LaFayette, Paint Creek, and Taylor Townships should have received their county committee voting ballots last week.  The final day to return completed ballots to the FSA office is December 3.  Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

Unauthorized Disposition of Grain
If loan grain has been disposed of through feeding, selling or any other form of disposal without prior written authorization from the county office staff, it is considered unauthorized disposition. The financial penalties for unauthorized dispositions are severe and a producer’s name will be placed on a loan violation list for a two-year period.  Always call before you haul any grain under loan.

Maintaining the Quality of Farm-Stored Loan Grain
Bins are ideally designed to hold a level volume of grain. When bins are overfilled and grain is heaped up, airflow is hindered and the chance of spoilage increases.  Producers who take out marketing assistance loans and use the farm-stored grain as collateral should remember that they are responsible for maintaining the quality of the grain through the term of the loan.

FSA Offers Safety Net Programs for Honeybee Producers
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers two programs that have specific safety net benefits for producers of honeybees and honey. The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) assist producers when disasters impact honey production or damage or destroy colonies, hives or honeybee feed.

NAP is designed to reduce financial losses when natural disasters result in lower yields or crop losses, including honey. NAP coverage is equivalent to catastrophic insurance, meaning it covers up to 50 percent of a producer’s normal yield (must have at least a 50 percent loss) at 55 percent of the average market price. The NAP service fee is the lesser of $250 per crop or $750 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,875 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.  Eligible causes of loss include drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, excessive wind, hurricanes, earthquake, flood, and conditions related to damaging weather such as excessive heat, plant disease, volcanic smog or insect infestation.

Producers must apply for NAP coverage by Dec. 1 prior to the year for which they are seeking coverage.

ELAP covers colony losses, hive losses and the loss of purchased feed intended for honeybees. For colony losses, producers must have losses in excess of normal mortality (normal mortality is 22 percent) as a direct result of an eligible adverse weather event or loss condition. For hive losses, the hive must have been damaged or destroyed as a result of an eligible adverse weather event or loss condition. Eligible adverse weather or loss conditions include Colony Collapse Disorder (for colony losses only), earthquake, eligible winter storm (colony loss only), excessive wind, flood, hurricane, lighting, tornado, volcanic eruption and wildfire.  For purchased feed, the program covers feed purchased above normal quantities to sustain bees during an eligible adverse weather event or loss condition.  Under ELAP the producer must provide documentation that best management practices are being followed.

Both the NAP and ELAP programs require producers to report the number of colonies they have in production to FSA by Jan. 2, 2019.  Honeybee producers must notify FSA within 30 calendar days of changes in the total number of colonies or when honeybees are moved to another county.

For ELAP, producers must notify FSA within 30 calendar days of when a loss occurs or from when the loss is apparent. Producers with NAP coverage must file a Notice of Loss within 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent.

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