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Hello again!

With favorable weather for working ground in most parts of Ohio, the Farm Service Agency wants to remind producers of highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance.

Highly erodible land conservation

FSA programs require compliance with HELC and WC provisions on form AD-1026. These provisions require producers to follow an approved conservation system on all highly erodible land planted to an annual crop as determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Be sure to have determinations made on any new land you plan to plant to annual crops. Also, if you will plant a different crop on your current cropland, check with NRCS to assure the new crop will qualify under your conservation system.

Wetland conservation

Wetland conservation provisions state that converting a wetland to make possible the planting of a crop will result in the loss of all USDA benefits. To avoid this possibility, it is strongly recommended that producers check with NRCS before starting to work in the fields.

Producers renting or purchasing land that may have a converted wetland status should check with their county office to learn if there are any restrictions.

Farm bill regulations provide that, unless exempt, persons are ineligible for benefits under certain programs administered by USDA if they: plant an agricultural commodity on a wetland that was converted after December 23, 1985; or convert a wetland after November 28, 1990.

Restrictions

FSA may not approve any loan or loan guarantee to drain, dredge, fill, level or otherwise manipulate a wetland, or to engage in any activity that results in impairing or reducing the flow, circulation or reach of water except in the case of activity related to the maintenance of previously converted wetlands.

The following provides permitted uses and restrictions of certain wetlands for compliance with wetland compliance provisions: wetlands can be farmed under natural conditions, but not converted; wetlands converted before November 28, 1990, cannot be planted to an agricultural commodity and retain eligibility for benefits; wetlands converted after Nov. 28, 1990, must either be restored to wetland status or mitigated to regain eligibility for program benefits; wetlands that can be farmed under natural conditions cannot be manipulated in any way, unless the NRCS determines the work would have a minimal effect on the wetland values; and wetlands converted before December 23, 1985, can be farmed and maintained.

Additional information about highly erodible land and wetlands is available at your local USDA Service Center.

That’s all for now,
FSA Andy

About the Author

FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio. More Stories by FSA Andy

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