What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
November 1: Organic Certification Cost-Share and Transition/Education Certification Program
December 4: Last Day to Return COC Ballots
December 15: Crop Reporting for Fall-Seeded Small Grains
January 31: Livestock Forage Program (LFP)

October 2023 CCC and FSFL Interest Rates
New rates were issued for the month of October and are as follows:
• 4.625% for 3 years
• 4.375% for 5 years
• 4.375% for 7 years
• 4.125% for 10 years
• 4.125% for 12 years
• MAL’s: 6.375%

Livestock Inventory Records
Producers are reminded to keep updated livestock inventory records. These records are necessary in the event of a natural disaster.

When disasters strike, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist producers who suffered excessive livestock death losses and grazing or feed losses due to eligible natural disasters.

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

Producers 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

For more information on documentation requirements, contact your local FSA office.

Livestock Forage Program
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses for covered livestock and who are also producers of grazed forage crop acreage of native and improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or acreage planted specifically for grazing. Grazing losses must occur on land physically located in a county experiencing a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the county. The qualifying drought and qualifying grazing losses must have occurred in the grazing period and crop year.

Eligible livestock are grazing animals that include such species as alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo/bison, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, ostrich, reindeer or sheep.

Eligible producers must own, cash/share lease (lease agreements needed), or be a contract grower of covered livestock during the 60 days before the beginning date of a qualifying drought.  They must provide pastureland or grazing land, including cash-rented, that is in an eligible county, and file an acreage report for the land being claimed.

LFP monthly payments is equal to 60% of the lesser of either the monthly feed cost for all covered livestock owned/leased by the producer or calculated using the normal carrying capacity of the eligible grazing land of the eligible livestock.

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-2, which includes Ludlow, Jefferson, post, Franklin, Linton, and Fairview townships. Essentially the southern portion of the county. The nomination period began in June and runs through August 1. 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-2 will cast ballots which will be mailed to you in November. These ballots are due back to the FSA office by early December.  The elected member will take office on January 1.

CRP Reminders
The primary nesting season ended August 1, so contract-holders can complete and maintenance on CRP without prior approval from their FSA office. Remember that cosmetic mowing of your CRP acres is always prohibited, as are the establishment of trails through your acres. Temporary deer stands are only allowed during the hunting season and must be removed immediately once the season is over. 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.

Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP)
For 2023, OCCSP will reimburse up to $750 of a certified operation’s allowable certification per scope.  Scopes include crops, wild crops, livestock, processing/handling, and state organic program fees. The 2023 program year covers expenses paid between October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023.

Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments, and postage.  

Ineligible costs include equipment, materials, supplies, transitional certification fees, late fees, and inspections necessary to address National Organic Program regulatory violations.