Ask FSA Andy by FSA Andy

Hello Again!

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m trying to figure out what to write for FSA Andy. FSA stuff can be a ” little” boring and of course we are never allowed to provide an opinion, because the agency is concerned that someone might come back and sue them for following some expressed opinions.

I don’t always strictly adhere to that line of thinking and I really don’t try and offend people. I consider myself candid. I usually try to provide tips to producers that will help make their visit to their local FSA office a positive experience.

Record keeping is one of those areas. I know you all hate to keep records , but it goes a long way to assisting us in many of our programs. The ACRE program requires that you keep track of your grain yields and report them to us each year. If you are in this program and you happen to be a dairy producer make sure you keep in touch with your local FSA office on how to handle silage yields.

NAP (Non Insurable Assistance Program) requires you report yields to us each year. Hay is a good example. Mark on your calendar each time you make hay the number of bales and which cutting. Get a sample bale weighed and keep that on hand. RFV testing would also help. In addition, if you start tracking your hay production in advance, it will be of great value to you in attempting to provide an APH (Actual Production History) yield should you decide to participate in NAP.

Our office recently had a couple producers come in for the LIP (Livestock Indemnity Program) for lightning strikes on cattle. This program requires both verifiable and reliable records. Herd size has to be proven as well as evidence of the death of livestock. The one producer had a ledger book of herd records, documented the livestock deaths with pictures and got a written statement from the excavator who buried the cattle. The statement contained numbers, date, and what he thought the cause of death was, as well as a signature. Name and address was on the bill/statement.

The other producer had a facsimile of that. Guess who will get paid fully and the quickest? Many of our programs require good documentation.

As the new farm bill moves forward it’s possible ACRE may be the program left to provide price protection. The SURE program will become more important as will NAP. I would recommend starting to keep good, reliable and verifiable records for some of these type programs

Contact your local FSA and talk to them about the various programs. FSA believes that every farmer and rancher should be treated equally and fairly and we are committed to resolving all cases involving allegations of past discrimination by individuals, including Hispanic and women farmers.

If you believe that USDA improperly denied you farm loan benefits between 1981 and 2000 because you are Hispanic, Latino, or female, you can find information about the claims process at www.farmerclaims.gov or by calling 1-888-508-4429.

Now for my opinion. Farmers will come to the aide of others even in the busiest of times. This past weekend, a young man had a dream come true at the Harrison County Fair. This young man had a dream about getting into pulling tractors. Unfortunately, he was beset with some serious health concerns.

A group of farmers and ag industry people, along with businesses from four states, decided to make that dream come true. The past nine months, these individuals put in countless hours, money and effort to put together one super fine Super Stock International pulling tractor. This is not a second rate machine. It’s the deal.

After making its initial pull, and much to the surprise of this young man, he was called down out of the grandstands and presented the tractor. It was one of those “feel good in your heart moments.” Thanks to all of those who did so much.

Best of luck, Zack.

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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