What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
August 23: CRP Continuous Signup 52 
September 20: Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up
December 6: Market Facilitation Program

Market Facilitation Program (MFP)
Signup for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program began on July 29th and continues through December 6, 2019.  Payments are expected to start in mid-to-late August. 

For non-specialty crops such as corn, soybeans and alfalfa, payments are based on a single-county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. The Allamakee County payment rate is $40 per planted acre.

Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive $0.20 a hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive $11 per number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.  There is no need to bring dairy production evidence if you had signed up for the Margin Protection Program or the Dairy Margin Coverage program.  Hog producers will need to bring in evidence of inventory, like the 2018 MFP program.

Specialty crops eligible for payment include table grapes ($0.03 per lb. at 20,820 lbs. per acre), sweet cherries ($0.17 per lb. at 9,148 lbs. per acre), and cranberries ($0.03 per lb. at 21,371 lbs. per acre).   Ginseng and nut payments also available.

The first payment will be comprised of 50% of your total calculated payment and will be available mid-to-late August.  The second and third payments will go in November and January if conditions warrant.

For more information and payment rates, visit https://www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp.

Fire Management on CRP Acres
Landowners who participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are responsible for fire management on their CRP acreage. Fireguard technical practices should be outlined in the Conservation Plan of Operations (CPO).

Landowners must complete the necessary management activities outside of the Primary Nesting Season. In Iowa, the Primary Nesting Season is May 15 - August 1.  The goal is to suppress the amount of fuel in the event of a wildfire while still promoting the diversity of the conservation cover.

FSA encourages producers to be proactive in preventing the spread of wildfire. Fire management includes installing firebreaks, which should be included in the contract support document and installed according to NRCS firebreak standards. 

Barren firebreaks will only be allowed in high risk areas, such as transportation corridors, rural communities, and adjacent farmsteads. A conservationist must certify that there will not be an erosion hazard from the barren firebreak. If erosion becomes a problem, remedial action will be taken.

USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Producers’ Costs for Organic Certification
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).

Applications for fiscal 2019 funding are due October 31, 2019.

OCCSP received continued support through the 2018 Farm Bill. It provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA’s National Organic Program. Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

Eligible expenses for cost-share reimbursement include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.

Certified producers and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of certification costs each year, up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope, including crops, livestock, wild crops, handling and state organic program fees.

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