What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Spring Crop Reporting

May 2022 CCC and FSFL Interest Rates
New rates were issued for the month of May and are as follows:
• 2.625% for 3 years
• 2.625% for 5 years
• 2.625% for 7 years
• 2.625% for 10 years
• 2.750% for 12 years

2022 Crop Certification
The on-going COVID-19 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 will mail 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 15, providing us ample time to get them loaded and ready for you to review and sign. Please drop them off sooner if you are done planting. Email is another option if that is preferrable.

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
There are just a couple days left to complete any required MCM work on your CRP acres, if scheduled for this year. Though fewer than years past, there have been decent days to get work completed, whether last fall or this spring. Those that are scheduled for this year would have received a packet from our office this past fall detailing what needs to be done, and another notification last month. You do have until May 14, 2022 to complete the work. If you have technical questions, need a seeding plan, or contractor list be sure to contact the NRCS office. Any other questions can be directed to FSA.

Once you complete your MCM, notify the FSA office, sign the FSA-848B form, and provide acceptable evidence (receipts, invoices, etc.) of practice completion to determine proper cost share payment.
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.

Marketing Loans - Reminder
Grain that is under loan, or “sealed” as many producers call it, must be repaid or released for sale prior to moving the bushels out of storage for sale or feed use.  Unauthorized disposition results in possible penalties and administrative actions.  Remember to “call before you haul” and we can discuss your options and forms that you may need to sign. Phone the FSA office at (563) 568-2148.

Breaking New Ground
Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with FSA and NRCS before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing so without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm program benefits in jeopardy. This is especially true for land that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions.

Producers with HEL determined soils are required to apply tillage, crop residue and rotational requirements as specified in their conservation plan.  

Producers should notify FSA as a first point of contact prior to conducting land clearing or drainage type projects to ensure the proposed actions meet compliance criteria such as clearing any trees to create new cropland, then these areas will need to be reviewed to ensure such work will not risk your eligibility for benefits.

Landowners and operators complete the form AD-1026 - Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification to identify the proposed action and allow FSA to determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for further review is necessary.