What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15-August 1: Primary Nesting Season
June 15: COC Election Ballots Mailed to Producers in LAA 3
July 15: Crop Certification

County Committee (COC) Election
It’s that time of year when FSA begins the process of the county committee election. This year the election will be for LAA -3, which includes Center, Iowa, LaFayette, Lansing, Paint Creek, and Taylor townships. Essentially the NE portion of the county. The nomination period begins June 15 and runs through August 2. You can nominate yourself or someone else by completing the appropriate form at our office or download it online. Once nominations are finalized, producers who reside in LAA-3 will cast ballots which will be mailed to you on November 1.  These ballots are due back to the FSA office by December 6. The elected member will take office on January 1. We’ll be getting more information out, posting flyers around town, and folks in these townships will be getting a postcard in June.  

2021 Crop Certification
The on-going COVID19 situation has certainly changed the way we operate at the office.  We are doing much more through phone, email, and fax. Like last year, we mailed each producer a set of their maps along with instructions on how to complete them, and when to return them by.  Please review the instructions before beginning to mark up your maps.  Review the map to make sure you have a crop indicated for each field. Include planting dates for corn, beans, and any other seedings.  Please indicate shares of the crop as well. The included instructions provide more detail as what is needed to accurately complete the certification.

We’re asking that all maps be returned to us by June 11, providing us ample time to get them loaded and ready for you to review and sign. Be sure to drop them off sooner if you are done planting. We can have two producers in the office at a time, so there is a chance we can work with you directly to complete this, but be prepared to either drop off your maps and return at a later date to sign. Email is another option if that is preferrable.

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.

Farmers.gov Feature Helps Producers Find Farm Loans that Fit Their Operation
Farmers and ranchers can use the Farm Loan Discovery Tool on farmers.gov to find information on USDA farm loans that may best fit their operations.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations. From buying land to financing the purchase of equipment, FSA loans can help.

USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges.

How the Tool Works
Farmers who are looking for financing options to operate a farm or buy land can answer a few simple questions about what they are looking to fund and how much money they need to borrow. After submitting their answers, farmers will receive information on farm loans that best fit their specific needs. The loan application and additional resources also will be provided.

Farmers can download application quick guides that outline what to expect from preparing an application to receiving a loan decision. There are four guides that cover loans to individuals, entities, and youth, as well as information on microloans. The guides include general eligibility requirements and a list of required forms and documentation for each type of loan. These guides can help farmers prepare before their first USDA service center visit with a loan officer.

Farmers can access the Farm Loan Discovery Tool by visiting farmers.gov/fund and clicking the “Start” button. Follow the prompts and answer five simple questions to receive loan information that is applicable to your agricultural operation. The tool is built to run on any modern browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or the Safari browser, and is fully functional on mobile devices. It does not work in Internet Explorer.

About Farmers.gov
In 2018, USDA unveiled farmers.gov, a dynamic, mobile-friendly public website combined with an authenticated portal where farmers will be able to apply for programs, process transactions, and manage accounts.

The Farm Loan Discovery Tool is one of many resources on farmers.gov to help connect farmers to information that can help their operations. Earlier this year, USDA launched the My Financial Information feature, which enables farmers to view their loan information, history, payments, and alerts by logging into the website.

USDA is building farmers.gov for farmers, by farmers. In addition to the interactive farm loan features, the site also offers a Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool. Farmers can visit farmers.gov/recover/disaster-assistance-tool#step-1 to find disaster assistance programs that can help their operation recover from natural disasters.

Keeping Livestock Inventory Records
Livestock inventory records are necessary in the event of a natural disaster, so remember to keep them updated.

When disasters strike, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) can help you if you’ve suffered excessive livestock death losses and grazing or feed losses due to eligible natural disasters.

To participate in livestock disaster assistance programs, you’ll be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to your local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent. For grazing or feed losses, you must submit a notice of loss to your local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent and should maintain documentation and receipts.

You should record all pertinent information regarding livestock inventory records including:

• Documentation of the number, kind, type, and weight range of livestock
• Beginning inventory supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts.

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