What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
January 31: Final date to request LDP for wool that was shorn in 2023 and for unshorn lambs slaughtered in 2023.
February 19: Office closed for observance of President’s Day
March 15: Deadline to sign up for the ARC PLC program

ARC/PLC (Farm Program) Sign Up Now!
The election and enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) sign up for program year 2024 is open now through March 15, 2024. ARC and PLC are two safety net programs that USDA initiated in the previous Farm Bill and were reauthorized for years 2019 through 2024. Producers need to ELECT (choose) one of these programs for each base on every farm and ENROLL into the program by signing a contract.

ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue for a crop is less than the ARC guarantee for that crop. Each crop base is calculated separately for the ARC-County version. ARC-Individual uses individual yields and merges bases into one calculation.

PLC provides income support payments on base acres when the effective price - typically the Market Year Average price - falls below the set reference price. The corn reference price is set at $4.01 and the soybean reference price is set at $9.26.

Ryan Drollette, Iowa State University Farm Management Specialist indicated that RMA adjusted county yields have been published, and an updated Excel spreadsheet is now on the Ag Decision Maker website. https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/farmbill.html

If you are ready now, call or stop by the Allamakee County FSA office to make your election. Producers have until March 15, 2024 to signup. Please review your farms and let the office know if there have been any additions or changes to farms you operate (including any share changes).

Livestock Forage Program Deadline Looms for 2023 Drought Recovery Assistance
LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought on privately owned or cash leased land or fire on federally managed land. For LFP, qualifying drought intensity levels are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor. Producers in Floyd County are eligible to apply for 2023 LFP benefits for grazing losses on native pasture, improved pasture, annual ryegrass, or forage sorghum. Visit the FSA LFP webpage for a full list of eligible counties and pasture types.

Livestock eligible for LFP include alpacas, beef cattle, bison, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, ostriches, reindeer, or sheep that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland. Recently, FSA updated LFP policy to expand program eligibility to include additional income producing grazing animals, like horses and ostrich, that contribute to the commercial viability of an agricultural operation.

Livestock used for hunting and consumption by the owner and horses and other animals that are used or intended to be used for racing and wagering remain ineligible.

As a reminder, producers who want to participate in many USDA programs including disaster assistance programs like LFP, must file timely acreage reports by filling out the FSA-578 form to remain eligible for program benefits. Livestock producers interested in applying LFP should contact Floyd County FSA with any questions about the eligibility of specific livestock and forage crops.

The deadline to apply for 2023 LFP assistance is January 30, 2024. More information on USDA disaster assistance is available at farmers.gov/recover.

FSA Accepting CRP Continuous Enrollment Offers
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting offers for specific conservation practices under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Continuous Signup.

In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and to plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. The program’s long-term goal is to re-establish valuable land cover to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length.

Under continuous CRP signup, environmentally sensitive land devoted to certain conservation practices can be enrolled in CRP at any time. Offers for continuous enrollment are not subject to competitive bidding during specific periods. Instead they are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap.

For more information, including a list of acceptable practices, contact your Allamakee County USDA Service Center at 563-568-2148 or visit fsa.usda.gov/crp.

Update Your Records
FSA is cleaning up our producer record database and needs your help. Please report any changes of address, zip code, phone number, email address or an incorrect name or business name on file to our office. You should also report changes in your farm operation, like the addition of a farm by lease or purchase. You should also report any changes to your operation in which you reorganize to form a Trust, LLC or other legal entity.

FSA and NRCS program participants are required to promptly report changes in their farming operation to the County Committee in writing and to update their Farm Operating Plan on form CCC-902.

To update your records, contact the Allamakee County USDA Service Center at 563-568-2148.