It took awhile 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, the smell of newly-worked soils that are now wet, again.
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 we keep a wary eye on the weather, all with a bit of distrust and saying a prayer until we get the last seed in.
With the farm bill being passed, we no longer offer DCP/ACRE programs. We will be offering something new with the ARC/PLC programs, giving producers a choice on the type of coverage that best fits their needs. The details are being worked out and we anticipate this program will be ready for rollout in early fall.
Plans allow for a fall sign-up for the 2014 crop year. More details will be forthcoming as they become available.
Crop reporting is still required to maintain eligibility for most USDA programs. So when you’re done planting, call the FSA office and set up a time to report your acres. The final reporting dates were Dec. 15 for small grains and fall planted crops and July 15 for all other crops.
If you find 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, remember in order for landowners and operators to receive payments from USDA, compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation 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 must notify the USDA FSA prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to ensure 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.
That’s all for now,