What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season – No MCM work on CRP acres
May 26 – August 28: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Allamakee USDA Service Center Now in Phase 2 of Re-Opening
Starting June 24, the Allamakee USDA Service Center is in Phase 2 of the re-opening plan. While our doors are still locked, we can allow two producers in at a time, after they are screened for COVID-related symptoms. We have protective shields in place and wipe down the counter frequently. Masks are also available.

We can still meet with you over the phone and in the parking lot. We’ve placed a picnic table in the parking lot that allows us to work outside with you as well. 

Nominations Open for the 2020 County Committee Elections
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages all eligible farmers, ranchers, and FSA program participants to take part in the Allamakee County Committee election nomination process. The 2020 election is in LAA-2 which includes producers in Ludlow, Jefferson, Post, Franklin, Linton, and Fairview townships.

FSA’s county committees are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and local administration of federal farm programs.

Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties. Committee members are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. If elected, members become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery process.

A county committee is composed of three to eleven elected members from local administrative areas (LAA). Each member serves a three-year term. One-third of the seats on these committees are open for election each year.

All nomination forms for the 2020 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA service center by August 1, 2020. For more information on FSA county committee elections and appointments, refer to the FSA fact sheet: Eligibility to Vote and Hold Office as a COC Member available online at: fsa.usda.gov/elections.

CRP Reminders
The primary nesting season runs from May 15 – August 1.  Please contact the FSA office if you need to perform spot maintenance activities on your CRP acres during this time.  Cosmetic mowing of your CRP acres is always prohibited, but you can spot treat areas that are threatened by undesirable vegetation throughout the year. A written request must be made before the County Committee grants approval to conduct maintenance during the nesting season.

As a reminder, volunteer trees and woody vegetation must be controlled and removed from CRP acres. Failure to control undesirable vegetation on CRP can result in financial penalties.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
Signup is still open, and runs until August 28, for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).  Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.  Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested.

CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

A full list of eligible commodities can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

Farm Reconstitutions
When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution — or recon — is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation.

To be effective for the current Fiscal Year (FY), farm combinations and farm divisions must be requested by August 1 of the FY for farms subject to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.  A reconstitution is requested when all:

• of the required signatures are on FSA-155
• other applicable documentation, such as proof of ownership, is submitted.

Total Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and non-ARC/PLC farms may be reconstituted at any time.

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