FSA Andy for July 9, 2009

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Hello Again!

Well, I got away with an opinion last week so I think I’ll start off with another opinion of mine about something I have trouble understanding.

Is this the year of the groundhog or what? I have never seen as many nor had so many farmers complain about them and from different counties. Now I’m not trying to start a feud with the Division of Wildlife, but with wildlife crop damage increasing every year some rules may need to be revisited.

For example, I know that groundhogs have been dispatched over the years by varying means, including: water, gasoline, smoke bombs, anhydrous, gas forming pellets, burying and even the latest propane groundhog canons. The common thing about all these is they are all illegal to utilize on animals in their dens.

Shooting groundhogs, with the ever increasing rural population, is becoming a dicey issue every time someone pulls the trigger. Trapping is not realistic and I’m sure there is decent reason for why these rodents aren’t supposed to be dispatched in this method. However, crop losses, damaged equipment, livestock injuries, personal injuries (early morning turkey season/hole) may warrant the DOW revisiting this issue.

Wheat harvest approaches and with that might be the time to check out how much erosion has been taking place. The past few years I have seen more erosion damage in the fields than ever before. The increase of soybeans with wheat planting on sloping ground coupled with heavy rainfalls appears to be wreaking havoc on the land.

Waterways constructed via the Continuous CRP Program are a great way to eliminate this problem. Cost share of up to 90 percent of the cost to install them is available; a yearly annual rental rate for 10 or 15 years goes along with the cost share.

I know a lot of producers are willing to install these on their land, but not on cash rented ground. I believe that landowners, if approached with this concern and an option of utilizing CCRP, would be more willing to establish waterways. It’s a win/win situation for producer and landowner alike and will go a long way to keep some of the fields being cut in two due to severe gully erosion.

Once that happens I know of no good way to restore these areas. Stop by your local FSA to see about rental rates and the program.

Foreign ownership of agricultural land that is purchased or sold is required to be reported to the Secretary of Agriculture within 90 days of the transaction. This can be accomplished by stopping at your local county FSA office.

Money derived from FSA programs is virtually 100 percent direct deposited. If you change banks or accounts please remember to let us know of the change or your money will float around in cyberspace until you call and complain about where your payment is or Kansas City lets us know. Then we’ll call and you’ll be embarrassed that we called. Let us know.

In closing, have you ever seen how fast manure disappears down a groundhog hole out of a side discharge?

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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