Farm Service Agency News
CRP Signup coming
FSA will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending on June 14. It will be open to existing contracts that expire Sept. 30, as well as new land. This announced signup period will be for whole fields or could be for filter strips, CRP waterways, quail habitat, or riparian buffer zones. We have no word on when continuous applications may be taken yet.
To be eligible for the general signup, land must have been in CRP or planted to crops four of the six crop years from 2002 to 2007, be physically and legally capable of being planted in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity and have an weighted average erosion index of 8 or greater. Trees and ditches will not be accepted.
2013 DCP or ACRE?
The ACRE sign-up period will end on June 3, 2013; the DCP sign-up period will end on Aug. 2, 2013. ACRE is the alternative to the DCP program and is essentially additional revenue insurance that only pays when two triggers are met (a state and a farm level trigger) and then pays on planted and prevented planted acres but not on acres in pasture, hay or wildlife habitat. DCP is the program that pays on existing base acres regardless of what is planted or in forages. Participation in ACRE requires a 20 percent reduction in the base acres compared to the DCP program.
There is no need to rush as there will be no advance payments and all payments to be issued in October are subject to funding. We anticipate doing many contracts when we complete crop reports after plantings are finished. As in years past, we can email contracts for signatures to make it easier but due to budget cuts we will be unable to mail out contracts for signatures.
Payments under the DCP and ACRE programs may be reduced by a certain percentage due to a sequester order required by Congress and issued pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985. Should a payment reduction be required, FSA will provide notice about the required percentage of payment reduction that applies to direct, counter-cyclical and ACRE payments.
The 2011 SURE or disaster program signup will end June 7, 2013. This program looks at yields and revenues so not everyone who received a payment from crop insurance may get a SURE payment and some who didn’t get a crop insurance loss payment may earn one from SURE. If you think you had a loss in 2011, please call the office so we can work up your application.
This signup is only for 2011 crops and is not for 2012 losses; no program has been announced for the 2012 losses at this time.
Various changes may impact a farm’s or framer’s ability and/or eligibility to participate in programs. Changing owners or operators from an individual to a trust or LLC does impact payment eligibility. Deeding the farm, or a portion of it, to a trust or children will could impact eligibility. Changing banks where you do business is an obvious change. Dozing out fencerows to combine two fields into one could impact your eligibility.
Unfortunately, we cannot make these types of changes at this time as we are converting to a new software system nationwide. We were locked out on March 8 with intentions to be back in full operation by April 8. The most recent prediction is another three to five weeks. Please bear with us.
During this time we can do crop reports, DCP and ACRE contracts as long as there are no changes to operator, ownership or farm constitutions.
A positive change is that we are no longer required to have and maintain copies of all revocable Trusts or Articles of Organizations for entities. We are required to have copies of Irrevocable Trusts. Now all that is required is for a member of the entity can fill out the proper form and certify that they have signature authority for the entity. This is part of the paperwork reduction and more producer friendly USDA.
Reminder: Deadline Extended: Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Must be Postmarked by May 1, 2013
Grow Rural Organics & Workshops (G.R.O.W.) Meeting
A new organization is forming to support and grow rural organics through networking, community support, and educational workshops. Growers, educators, consumers, nutritionists, environmentalists, backyard gardeners, volunteers and anyone wanting to learn more about organic gardening should plan to attend. The meeting will be held Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the River of Life Church located at 3523 Georgia Street in Louisiana.
Producers are always welcome to contact the office if you have any questions. You can call 573-324-3313 or stop at the office at 1220 Business 61 South in Bowling Green, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.