The smells of spring are fully upon us now. Newly mown grass, lilacs in bloom and yes, that favorite scent of spring for a farmer, the smell of newly worked soils. Weather seems to be cooperating and planting in Ohio and eastern PA is well under way.
Those southern counties are thinking of finishing, while their northern neighbors are wondering if the soil temps are about ready for seed. I’ve spoken to several brave souls that have had corn in the ground in some of the northern counties now going on several weeks.
My, how seed technology has changed over the years! And yes, especially now, we continue to keep a wary eye to the the sky all the while saying a prayer to the heavens until we get that last seed in.
We hope all of you made the base and yield allocation and program election decisions that were required for ARC/PLC participation. Details of the last step, enrollment, are being worked out in Washington. It is hoped that the enrollment process will be available to coincide with your crop reporting. As soon as we get the details, we will let you know!
Some of you folks may have received a letter from your crop insurance agency informing you that you are not in compliance with the HEL/WC provisions by not having an AD 1026 form on file with the FSA. Changes mandated through the 2014 Farm Bill require producers to have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026) on file.
For farmers to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance, this AD-1026 form must be on file with the FSA. Since many FSA and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs have had this requirement for years, most producers should already have one on file. If producers have not filed, they must do so by June 1.
If you did get a letter, easy enough, call your local FSA office and check to see if we do have an AD-1026 on file for you. We will be happy to review your status with you and if needed, we can set-up a time for you to complete this. There is no requirement to file a new AD-1026 form if the existing AD-1026 form on file is valid, as long as the answers to the questions on existing AD-1026 do not change and the producer does not violate HELC or WC provisions.
As you folks are busy planting seeds in the ground, I’ll take a moment to plant a seed in your ear about our County Committee’s and the upcoming nomination period. In the coming weeks, you will start to see more regarding this topic. 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 as well as hear appeals regarding adverse decisions for local producers. Committee members serve a three year term and represent the townships surrounding their homes.
I can’t urge you enough to consider running for a seat on your local committee. I can honestly say that without the County Committee system, the FSA would not be what it is today. Happy planting and be safe. The country needs your production and your family needs your well being.
That’s all for now,
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