FSA Andy: SURE program helps farmers in difficult times

Remember the old Coke commercial with the song “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony….” ? The circle of people would grow as more people learned the song and joined the circle. This would always give the feeling everything was right with the world.

The people obviously accepted the person beside them because they were holding hands and they all looked like they were having a good time. Of course there was a diverse group of people, different cultures, different abilities and ideas. You get the picture, right?

The FSA offices keep busy throughout the year making sure the producers’ paperwork has been completed for the programs set forth by Congress. They are also busy with completing mandated training sessions set forth by USDA.

Example

One such training has been The Cultural Transformation. This training’s goal, set forth by Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, is to have a USDA that produces better results for the American people.

Vilsack states, “We all have a shared responsibility to each other and our customers with treating others as we wish to be treated.”

The training course goes on to explain Eight Habits of the Heart — nurturing attitude, dependability, responsibility, friendship, brotherhood, high expectations, hope and courage.

The Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program was authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 to provide assistance to producers suffering crop losses because of disasters on or before Sept. 30, 2011.

Criteria

To receive SURE payments an eligible producer on a SURE farm must have a qualifying loss.

A qualifying loss is defined as a loss of 10 percent or more on at least 1 crop of economic significance because of disaster on a farm that is either: located in a disaster county; or if not located in any disaster county or county contiguous to such a county, but has an overall loss greater than or equal to 50 percent of normal production on the farm (expected revenue for all crops on the farm) because of disaster.

At the time of filing the 2011 or 2012 SURE application for payment, the producer will be required to identify and certify the crop of economic significance on the SURE farm that suffered the 10 percent loss because of disaster occurring on or before Sept. 30, 2011.

Crops are not required to be harvested on or before this date to maintain eligibility for SURE.

Verification

To determine a producer’s certification of crop loss is because of a disaster occurring on or before Sept. 30, 2011, FSA will review the crop’s planting and growing period, asserted disaster event and any other pertinent information that may be relevant or available.

As you go to the fields this fall to harvest I challenge you to treat your employees and family using the habits of the heart. Plus, always remember that one person can make a difference.

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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