The past few months I have had the opportunity to “go back” and assist the producers in Carroll County with their FSA paperwork, a couple of days a week. I have been out of the Carroll County office for more than 16 years but it was great to catch up with producers and friends I left behind.
One finds that even though you are in a different county, producers are basically the same everywhere. Farm producers are a strong group of individuals who love to work the soil, milk cows, and worry about the weather.
With so much to do and lots on their minds, they also tend have a forgetful moment every now and then. I found a popular forgetful moment for producers was getting approval from NRCS prior to breaking out or clearing new land to plant to an agricultural commodity.
The term “sod busting” is used to identify the plowing up of erosion-prone grasslands for use as cropland. Sodbuster violations are unauthorized tillage practices on highly erodible lands that converted native vegetation such as rangeland or woodland, to crop production after Dec. 23, 1985.
Farmers should be aware that if they use highly erodible land for crop production without proper conservation measures, they risk losing eligibility to participate in Farm Service Agency programs.
Before producers clear, plow or otherwise prepare areas not presently under crop production for planting, they are required to file an AD-1026, indicating the area to be brought into production. This includes getting rid of those fence rows to increase the size of your field.
If Natural Resources Conservation Service indicates an area will be highly erodible land, the producer will be required to develop and implement a conservation plan on the affected acreage, before bringing land into production.
In addition, producers and the producer’s affiliates have to file an AD-1026 with the staff in the administrative or control county office before any farm program payments can be made. The AD-1026 is the producer’s signed certification that HELC, as well as wetland conservation, provisions will not be violated.
Failure to follow this procedure can be very costly to the producer. You could lose all program benefits from our office.
Stick to the plan
Be cautious and ask before you break out, clear any land or just clean up the fence row to plant to an agricultural commodity. Producers must also be cautioned, once you have a conservation plan you need to follow that plan every year. Check in your desk drawer, get out your conservation plans, dust them off and review them to see what is required on your part to fulfill your plan.
If you have any questions or concerns, check with your local Farm Service Agency or Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Another item of importance producers tend to forget is to report crop losses resulting from a weather-related disaster event within 15 days of the disaster or when the loss first becomes apparent.
This requirement includes crops covered by crop insurance, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and crops without insurance coverage. Prevented planting must be reported no later than 15 days after the final planting date.
Crop losses are acres that were timely planted with the intent to harvest, but the crop failed because of a natural disaster. It is important that producers file accurate and timely loss reports to prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits.
Producers who have NAP coverage will be required to report crop losses on an FSA form CCC-576 “Notice of Loss and Application for Payment Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.”
Don’t forget to check out FSA Andy next week to see what is new, exciting or just another reminder from the Farm Service Agency.
“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
That’s all for now,