Yet another February is near its end and the brief interlude of record high temperatures this past week remind us that spring is coming very soon. Seed catalogs are arriving weekly, another sure sign of spring as we think about the possibilities for this year’s garden.
It is hard for me to imagine millions of Americans have never had the pleasure of smelling freshly-turned soil or the hope and excitement that comes from placing seed in the ground in anticipation of yet another harvest. I think if we could share this experience folks would have a greater appreciation of farmers and food production. I am thankful daily for the privilege of being a farmer and the opportunity to serve our agricultural community.
As we think about spring, we are reminded of the vast and diverse pasture and grazing lands in this part of the country. The Grassland Reserve Program was revitalized under the 2008 Farm Bill with the purpose to assist landowners and operators in protecting grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving and restoring grassland resources on eligible private lands.
This will be accomplished through rental contracts, easements and restoration agreements.
GRP emphasizes: Supporting grazing operations; Maintaining and improving plant and animal biodiversity; Protecting grasslands and shrub lands from threat of conversion to uses other than grazing; Landowners have until March 18 to submit a new or deferred AD-1153, Application for Long-Term Contracted Assistance for GRP easement contracts; or March 18 to submit a new or deferred AD-1153, Application for Long-Term Contracted Assistance for GRP rental contracts.
Hot off the press is the extension for producers to apply for 2010 purchased feed benefits. Producers will have until March 1 to complete a payment application and/or file a notice of loss due to eligible adverse weather conditions that occurred in 2010 and resulted in additional purchases of feed stuffs for livestock above normal needs. As always producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for information and help with these programs.
That’s all for now,