Each year, the Farm Service Agency is required by regulation to issue public notice on a variety of programs, policies and opportunities available at the county office. Call your local Farm Service Agency office with any questions.
Report of payments to producers
The Commodity Credit Corporation is required to file an informational return (Form 1099-G) with IRS when payments are issued to producers. A program payment is considered made in the calendar year that the payment was issued, and not in the calendar year that it was earned or received. The report is provided as a service to help producers report taxable income and is not intended to replace a producer’s responsibility to report income to IRS. Producers should direct questions regarding their tax liability to their tax consultant or IRS. Refunds are not included on the 1099-G.
Power of attorney authorization
FSA has a specific, in-house power of attorney form available for those who wish to designate another person to conduct his or her business at the office. Form FSA-211, Power-of-Attorney, is used to make this designation. This form must be notarized or signed in the presence of an FSA employee. If you have non-FSA power of attorney documents, they must be approved by the FSA Regional Attorney prior to use in the county office. All approved Power of Attorney designations remain in effect until revoked.
A husband and wife may sign program documents on behalf of each other for most FSA and Commodity Credit Corporation programs in which either has an interest. This is standard policy, unless written notification denies a spouse this authority.
Foreign Investment Disclosure
The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act requires all foreign persons who acquire, transfer, or hold interest in any tract of U. S. agricultural land, forestland or timberland report the transaction within 90 days of the closing. This notification is to be sent to the Secretary of Agriculture through the local Farm Service Agency office. Persons failing to report could be subject to civil penalties of up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the property.
Payment eligibility and payment limitation
Payments, and benefits under certain programs are subject to payment eligibility and payment limitation determinations. Applicants and farm operating plans will be reviewed for some or all of the following: payment limitation by direct attribution; payment limitations for individual programs; actively engaged in farming requirements; cash-rent tenant rule; foreign person rule; and average adjusted gross income limitations.
Once filed, a farm operating plan is not required to be filed annually if the operation continues to be conducted as reflected on the original plan and supporting documents are on file with FSA. Program benefits subject to limitation will not be provided until all required forms for the specific situation are provided and reviewed by the FSA county committee.
Socially disadvantaged/limited resource
Applicants who meet criteria for either limited resource or socially disadvantaged may be eligible for waived fees, directed funding, or eligibility exemptions for certain FSA programs. The rule is program specific. Socially disadvantaged is defined as being a member of a group whose members have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of the group without regard to their individual qualities. Limited resource producers have gross farm sales below a specific level and have a total household income at or below previously determined levels. Contact the local county office to obtain the updated levels, or use the online calculator at www.lrftool.sc.egov.usda.gov.
Any person who is convicted under federal or state law of planting, producing, cultivating, harvesting, growing or storing a controlled substance will be ineligible to participate and receive payments under USDA programs. Marijuana, opium poppies and other drug-producing plants are controlled substances.
Report direct deposit changes
Current policy mandates that all payments from FSA be directly deposited into a producer’s savings or checking bank account. It is important that any changes in accounts such as type of account, bank mergers, routing number or account numbers be provided to the county office promptly to avoid possible payment delay.
Public notice will be issued to openly advertise for candidates to participate in the FSA County Committee election process. FSA solicits and accepts nominations of under-represented groups such as females and minorities (American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander). To ensure that individuals within these potentially underrepresented groups are fairly considered for representation, FSA encourages members of these groups to notify the FSA office if land is under joint ownership and records do not reflect all joint owners. This will ensure that voting lists and producer rolls are accurate.
If you have not received an election ballot in the past and believe you may be eligible to vote, please notify the office to ensure records are properly updated. In general, persons of legal voting age who are eligible to participate in Farm Service Agency programs are eligible to vote for a county committee representative.
Special accommodations will be made upon request for individuals with disabilities, vision impairment, or hearing impairment. If accommodations are required, individuals should contact their local FSA office.
That’s all for now,