It took a while, but I think winter has finally lost its tenuous grip on us. The smells of spring are fully upon us now. Newly mown grass, lilacs in bloom and, yes, that favorite scent of spring for a farmer, the smell of newly worked soils.
Planting in the area is well underway. Those southern counties are eying the finish of planting while their northern neighbors are wondering if the soil temps are about ready for seed. Planting plans that were rock solid last winter are being tweaked, changed and finally put in place.
And yes, especially now, we keep a wary eye on the sky, listen to the weather on the radio, on the television and even keep tabs on it with our smartphones, tablets and laptops, all with a bit of distrust and saying a prayer to the heavens until we get the last seed in.
So are you done planting yet? Have you enrolled in DCP/ACRE yet? With the farm bill extension, producers wishing to participate in ACRE must be enrolled by June 3. Those participating in DCP catch a break and the deadline for enrollment this year is Aug. 2.
Now, if or when, you are done planting, why not call your FSA office and set up a time to report your acres? The final reporting dates are June 30, 2013, for small grains and July 15 for all other crops.
With planting well under way, if you find that you are just a bit ahead of schedule and want to break out a few more acres or upgrade that tiling before you get into the field with the planter, please remember that in order for landowners and operators to receive payments from USDA, compliance with Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions is required.
Farmers with HEL-determined soils need to comply with tillage, crop residue, and rotation requirements specified in their conservation plan.
Producers or landowners who participate in USDA programs are to notify the USDA Farm Service Agency prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to insure compliance regardless of who is actually responsible for the work being performed. Failure to obtain advance approval for any of these activities can result in the loss of eligibility for certain USDA program benefits.
Happy planting, be safe and may God bless you!
That’s all for now,