As you read this, Memorial Day is right around the corner, welcoming THE “official start of the summer season.” Maybe you will celebrate the day with a cook-out and a visit to the cemetery. Maybe you will attend a parade or maybe you will spend it in the seat of a tractor trying to take advantage of another good day to get the crops in the ground or getting that first hay off the field.
No matter how you celebrate Memorial Day, I hope you will take the time to give thanks to the veterans who laid down their lives so that we are able to celebrate Memorial Day how we chose.
Monday, May 27, is a day to honor our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers and sons and daughters who have paid the ultimate price while serving their country. Let us not forget that for every sword we have made into a plowshare, we have also, at times, turned plowshares into swords when we have had to.
For that, I give thanks to all who have went before me while in the service of this country.
Do you know that you can serve your country and your community in ways that do not require service in the military. The farmers and ranchers in every county are benefited by those few individuals who have taken the time to serve agriculture as a county committee member for their local FSA office.
Committee members play a vital role by helping local farmers manage tough financial times and natural disasters. They make decisions on applications for federal farm program and disaster eligibility and payments. They also make many other important decisions that affect local farmers such as whether haying and grazing should be allowed on Conservation Reserve Program land in times of drought.
The FSA works as well as it does because of these folks and the way they ensure that the federal programs designed to support agriculture are administered fairly and evenly to ALL producers in their county.
Though we don’t have parades in their honor, their efforts to ensure everyone is represented and treated fairly goes beyond measure. Committee members serve a three-year term and represent the townships surrounding their homes. They are nominated and then voted on by active producers in those same townships.
Those interested in running for county committee, or who would like to nominate an individual to run for county committee, need to complete a nomination form. The nomination forms for County FSA
Committee Election (FSA-669A) are available at your local county FSA office or online at the Ohio FSA website: www.fsa.usda.gov/oh. The form is located under the “I Want To” section on the homepage.
The nomination period begins June 17 and runs until Aug. 1, 2013. Nomination forms for the 2013 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by close of business on Aug. 1, 2013.
Speaking of deadlines, last week, I reported incorrect annual acreage reporting deadlines.
For 2013, the crop reporting deadlines have changed! The acreage reporting deadlines for 2013 are as follows:
July 15 for any spring-seeded crops (corn & soybeans), fruits and vegetables, cabbage planted by May 31 and forage crops;
Aug. 15 for CRP and cabbage planted between June 1 and July 20; and
Dec. 15 for wheat and other fall seeded crops.
Prevented planted and failed cropland acres that will not be brought to harvest have slightly different timelines. Prevented planting acres must be reported within 15 calendar days of the Federal Crop Insurance Companies (FCIC) established ending planting dates.
For corn, the FCIC ending planting date is June 5, and for soybeans the ending planting date is June 20. Failed acreage must be reported to FSA before destroying and replanting to allow time for a field check to be performed.
Failure to timely report prevented planting acres may result in loss of potential disaster assistance, as well as maintaining cropping history.
For crop losses covered by the Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP), producers must contact their local FSA office within 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent. Missing any of these deadlines could cause FSA payments to be held and a late filing penalty fee to be charged.
Contact your local county FSA office if you have any questions or to set up an appointment to report your crop acreages. Also please don’t forget, the last day to sign-up for ACRE is close upon us. All applications for the ACRE program need to be filed by June 3. This year, DCP enrollment ends Aug. 2.
Hopefully you have already made it in to the office to enroll. If not, better hurry because the clock is ticking!