What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
October 30: WHIP+ Signup; 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup
Dec. 11: CFAP 2 Signup; Dairy Margin Coverage Signup
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2
USDA announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) began September 21 and runs through December 11, 2020. CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities (corn soybeans, etc.), Flat-rate Crops (alfalfa, oats, etc.) and Sales Commodities (beef cattle, sheep, pigs, excludes breeding stock).
Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated.

Dairy Margin Coverage Program
Signup for the 2021 Dairy Margin Coverage Program is now open and continues through December 11.  
Coverage levels range from $4.00 to $9.50 per cwt, in $0.50 increments.  Coverage percentage of the dairy operation’s production history ranges from 5 percent to 95 percent, in 5 percent increments.  If you locked in during the 2019 signup, your selections stay the same, but you still need to stop in and sign an application each year.  If you did not lock in you can make the same elections, new elections, or choose not to participate in 2020. If you decide not to participate in 2021, you can still participate in 2022. You have the flexibility to participate or not each year.

CRP Mid-Contract Management
Some CRP contract holders received a packet of information detailing the activities that need to be completed in FY21. You can begin those activities as early as October 1, 2020.  However, all activities need to be completed by May 14, 2021 unless otherwise indicated on your forms. Now is a great time to line up contractors, if needed. Their schedules fill up quickly.  Please stop in or call if you have any questions.  

Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Compliance
Landowners and operators are reminded that to receive payments from USDA, compliance with HEL and WC provisions are required. Farmers with HEL determined soils are reminded of tillage, crop residue, and rotation requirements as specified per their conservation plan.  Producers are to notify the USDA Farm Service Agency prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to ensure compliance. Failure to obtain advance approval for any of these situations can result in the loss of eligibility and all Federal payments.

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, 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.

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.

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