FSA Andy for July 23, 2009

Hello Again!

This week I’m going to reissue/revise a previous article I wrote. Amazingly enough, the same issues I wrote about two years ago are still points of contention at FSA offices.

Most county offices have gone to appointments to better assist producers. Please try to keep your appointment if at all possible. Please reschedule if necessary and if you happen to just drop in and others have appointments ahead of you, realize you will need to wait.

Please make sure that you have control of a farm that you sign into any program. Unfortunately, we find out that there are multiple operators on one farm after our contracts have been run out and people have taken their advance payments.

Cropland and control of 100 percent of that ground means that you have control of every acre of cropland and that includes hay ground. Contracts are on a farm basis and take in all the land not just what is planted to row crops.

Signatures are also another issue that we have. When obtaining cash rent signatures, make sure it’s from the landowner and not some cousin who happens to be standing out at the barn.

It’s not that we don’t believe you rent the land, but auditors aren’t nearly as trusting as we are. We are not crop insurance.

This year, due to FSA extending their acreage reporting date, has created a problem with the crop insurance reporting date. Producers who have failed to keep their appointments to report are now mad that we can’t provide them with the information needed by crop insurance.

We don’t know what you have planted and it’s your responsibility to provide crop insurance with your planted information. It’s not ours. FSA offices go out of their way to assist producers in accomplishing this task; however, it’s not our responsibility. Help us help you.

My last tidbit is about your cell phone. When you come in, turn it off, please. You didn’t need one 10 years ago when you came in to sign up and I bet you can get by with out it now.

OK, I feel better. Now let’s talk about your crops. I can’t believe the way the row crops are looking for most of the surrounding area. The crops are looking good, considering the way the rain has been. You may want to consider looking at a facility loan to help store those crops.

I can tell you story after story on how much extra money producers have made by storing their crops and not having to sell straight from the field.

The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program is your opportunity. Loans are a straight seven year payback with a yearly payment. You can’t get a better interest rate.

We will loan up to 85 percent of the cost of needed storage. Bins, cribs flat storage, silos, fixed handling equipment, dryers, construction costs are eligible. We won’t loan on used bins, but costs associated with renovating and installing them are eligible.

There are some hoops to jump through, but working closely with your local FSA office will make it seem easy (or is that easier). You will need to carry at least minimum crop insurance. Most importantly, don’t start anything without contacting your local office.

One more thing — start early and don’t wait until harvest is a week away. That will fall in the category of issues addressed at the beginning of this article.

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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