“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…” is a famous line in a well-known play by William Shakespeare. Macbeth, upon being told of the death of his wife, says the line, which talks about what the future holds for us and how our days are getting shorter.
Maybe quoting Macbeth is unfamiliar territory for people reading this. Can anyone picture one of their neighbors sitting in the cab of the tractor after they have kicked in their auto-steer and pulling out a Shakespeare play to read as they go down the field? None of the farmers I deal with would do that. In fact, I can think of two or three names of my neighbors that would look very out of place with that book in their hands. Makes me chuckle a little bit thinking about it.
Clock is ticking
Even so, the theme of days getting shorter and time running out can apply to FSA programs as well. September brings two significant deadlines for major FSA programs.
The first deadline is for the ARC/PLC program. Sept. 30, 2015, is the final date for enrollment into both the 2014 and the 2015 ARC/PLC program. If you still have actions to complete, you probably have received a postcard reminding you of this deadline. Your notification will say you have an “enrollment deadline”, but remember that enrollment covers much more than just signing the application.
Applicants need to verify highly erodible land and wetland compliance, as well as certifying their Adjusted Gross Income meets program limits. Hopefully all acreage was reported back in July, but if there were acres missed, that needs completed as well. Leased ground also adds another layer to the process. If you are on a share lease, then the landowner receiving a share of the ARC/PLC contract will need to complete all the same information you do by the same deadline. If the landlord fails to hold up his end of the bargain, then applicants may miss out on some program benefits.
We always encourage operators to assist their landlords to get this done. Producers who cash lease acreage may also have to provide information on their lease or submit an owner signature to support their application. Check with your local FSA office to see what is needed for your particular farm(s). Again, all of this needs completed by Sept. 30. FSA plans to start issuing benefits to eligible farms in October, so wrapping up your application this month will help that process to run smoothly.
The other program with an end-of-month deadline is the dairy Margin Protection Program. You will need to register for the 2016 program year and make your decisions on your coverage levels. Contact your local FSA office for more information about your enrollment status.
That’s all for now!
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