Harvest activities continue to pick up speed in my county. Corn moisture levels continue to inch their way lower, and soybean fields that were once fluffy gardens of foliage have now become brown and crispy.
The fall season is definitely upon us. While fall harvest signifies the end of a growing season on many farms, at the Farm Service Agency it means that a new year is just beginning.
October 1 marks the annual beginning of a new Fiscal Year. The National Budget starts fresh, and anything spent from that date forward is credited against the next year’s budget.
This is why many FSA payments are made in October. It is the earliest date in the new Fiscal Year that benefits can be issued.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) annual rental payments have been issued in October every year since the program started way back when, as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. Since these benefits are part of a multi-year program, and CRP acres do not change much from year to year, benefits are relatively easy to calculate. This helps make CRP annual rents one of the first benefits issued by FSA each year.
The rents coming out this month cover the October 2013 through September 2014 contract period, since payments are made in arrears. CRP participants are encouraged to look closely at their benefit statements this year to verify that the correct amounts were issued on their participating acres.
FSA recently migrated its CRP processes to a new computer system. While local FSA offices all across the country did a great job in preparing records for this upgrade, there is always that chance of human error.
Each participant should know how much they expect to receive from this program. Your annual amount may have changed if you reenrolled some new acres, withdrew acreage, started a new contract, or even had a haying reduction or a noncompliance penalty.
If you think your amount is off, be sure to contact your local FSA office and they will help you get it resolved.
Not so fast for ARC/PLC.
While CRP checks have been hitting those mailboxes (or those direct deposit bank accounts as the case may be), producers who participate in FSA annual production adjustment base programs will be waiting for some time before any benefits are determined.
The expiration of the DCP program last fall ended guaranteed direct payments. A main component of both the new ARC and PLC programs is the marketing year average (MYA) price. MYA prices for crops are not calculated until the most of the commodity has been marketed for the year.
For example the 2014 marketing year for corn and soybeans ends August 31, 2015. So even if a farm enrolled in ARC or PLC for 2014 qualifies for benefits, they will not be known until after the end of the marketing year.
So the bottom line is not to look for any DCP or ARC/PLC program payments this calendar year.
That’s all for now,
STAY INFORMED. SIGN UP!
Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!