What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 14: CRP Mid-Contract Management
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season
June 2: ERP Phase 2
June 2: PARP
July 15: Spring Crop Reporting

May 2023 CCC and FSFL Interest Rates
New rates were issued for the month of May and are as follows:
• MALs: 5.625%
• 3.750% for 3 years
• 3.500% for 5 years
• 3.500% for 7 years
• 3.500% for 10 years
• 3.500% for 12 years

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
There are just a few days left to complete any required MCM work on your CRP acres, if scheduled for this year.  There have been some 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 detailing what needs to be done, and another notification last month. You do have until May 14, 2023 to complete the work. If you have technical questions, need a seeding plan, or contractor list feel free to contact the NRCS office. Any other questions can be directed to FSA. Once you complete your MCM, be sure to 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. Be sure to 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.

Conservation Reserve Contractors
With thousands of acres in CRP throughout the county, contract holders are constantly looking for folks who can help complete establishment or maintenance activities.  If you are someone who can help with these services (seeding, mowing, spraying, burning, pruning, etc.) feel free to contact our office so we can get you added to our contractors list.

March 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage Payments
The DMC margin for March 2023 is $6.08/cwt. As a result, dairy operations that elected Tier 1 margin coverage levels $9.50, $9.00, $8.50, and $8.00, $7.50, $7.00 and $6.50 and Tier 2 margin coverage levels at $8.00, $7.50, $7.00 and $6.50 were issued a payment.

Rolling Out Revenue Based Disaster and Pandemic Assistance Programs
Beginning January 23, 2023, agricultural producers can begin to apply for two new important programs for revenue losses, from 2020 and 2021 natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic. Both programs equitably fill gaps in earlier assistance. First, you may be eligible for assistance through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two if you experienced revenue losses from eligible natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. ERP Phase Two is for producers who didn’t receive assistance from ERP Phase One.   

You may also be eligible for the Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP) if you experienced revenue losses in calendar year 2020. PARP is addressing gaps in previous pandemic assistance, which was targeted at price loss or lack of market access, rather than overall revenue losses.
Applications for both new programs are due June 2, 2023, and you can apply for both programs during your same appointment with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).

How to Apply
In preparation for enrollment, producers should gather supporting documentation including:  
• Schedule F (Form 1040); and 
• Profit or Loss from Farming or similar tax documents for tax years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 for ERP and for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020 for PARP.

Most producers, especially those who have previously participated in FSA programs, will likely have these required forms on file. However, those who are uncertain or want to confirm should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center.