Changes are coming to FSA programs

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Hello Again!

Change is inevitable. Change is good. Change is a necessity. These phrases may seem like profound words of wisdom, but seriously we all know change occurs.

The only constant regarding change that I know of, is when I slam my Tundra truck door, that change (coins) flies out of my ashtray in the door onto my floor.

Guess I should empty it or not buy so much beer.

I’m gonna empty it.

In all seriousness, change is occurring within the government. Money, specifically not enough of it, is driving every agency to evaluate their structure and the way they do business. The SSA is looking at eliminating offices.

The postal service is looking at doing away with Saturday delivery. Heck, even our agency (FSA) is looking at new business models.

They are tentatively looking at having a central office with base offices and satellite offices. The satellite offices are envisioned as actually meeting producers at libraries or other public places or something like that.

We shall see

Not sure how that is going to work, but a group higher up than me is looking at that. May never happen.

The 2014 farm bill brought changes. The DCP/ACRE program, that paid direct payments, was eliminated. Our MILC Dairy program is being replaced.

The NAP program is being made into a buy up program which I believe is good. Crop insurance is subject to sodbuster/swamp buster rules.

There is a constant though and that is acreage reporting and somehow producers don’t appear to be wanting to come in for 2014 acreage reporting. Trust me, you are going to want to.

The remodeled version of DCP/ACRE program is the PLC/ACRC-CO and ARC-IC program. These are the changed programs.
Changes coming.

FSA is going to allow a one-time selection to enter into one of these programs and once selected it remains in effect thru 2018. Base acres can be retained as they were in 2013 or reallocated by owners/producers utilizing using 2009-2012 planting history.

CC yields can be updated. The PLC program will make payments based strictly on the price of crops.

If the price falls below the target price for crops, a payment is made.

Planting of that crop is not necessary. The ARC-CO follow the same basic premise except it is a more revenue based program that takes into consideration the price and county yields for determining revenue stream.

If the revenue falls below, you get a payment based on your bases. The ARC-C also is a revenue based program, but on individual farms and for covered commodities that are planted. Sounds like a complicated program, but it really is not that complicated.

Dates to remember

Signup may be as late as January 2015 for the 2014 year. I’m sure most of you have noticed, unless you are Rip van Winkle. Corn and beans aren’t $7 and $14.50 anymore.

It appears the Dairy Margin Protection Program that replaces the MILC program is looking for a possible August or September signup.

Watch the Farm and Dairy for upcoming meetings on these programs. Farm Doc Daily on the Internet is having a lot of papers on these programs, explaining them and how payments are calculated. They will even give you their opinion on which way they think producers should sign up.

OSU extension is also doing outreach on these programs. These organizations are non-profit and I have heard there have been private entities discouraging producers from enrolling in these programs.

Our programs are free. Sort of I guess, since, we as taxpayers fund them.

Resources available

The last thing that is a constant is that the employees of FSA offices are available to discuss these programs with you. We have not received official training on them yet so we have been discouraged from holding meetings or sharing training PowerPoints.

FSA will be holding meetings about these programs. Possibly, some offices didn’t get the memo on holding off.

I didn’t. However, if you haven’t reported your 2014 acres you aren’t going to be eligible to enroll. I know planting got drug out, and right now, late file fees are waived for late reporting. So get in and get reported.

That’s all for now,
FSA Andy

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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