Ask FSA Andy about USDA letters

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Hello Again!

This is the weekend I have not been looking forward to, Labor Day Weekend. To me this marks the end of summer. It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating Memorial Day and looking forward to a fun filled summer. I hope your summer had some fun filled days shared with family and friends.

Now we will be watching as the trees turn beautiful shades of orange, red and brown. Pumpkins and scarecrows will be the Autumn decorations welcoming you at the front door of many homes.

One can’t forget the gorgeous mums that come in a variety of colors such as yellow, crimson, purple, dark orange, etc. Yes, I do enjoy the sights and smells of Autumn but look out because you know what season comes next, WINTER!

The Farm Service Agency is in the process of implementing new programs that were passed in the Agricultural Act of 2014 or better known as the 2014 Farm Bill. One of the new programs that replaced the Direct and Counter Cyclical Program (DCP) is the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ACR) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.

In preparation for the implementation of both of these programs USDA provided all owners and operators with a recent mailing done by the National office. This mailing provided an update on their current base acres, yields and planting history from 2009 to 2012.

Our phone has been ringing off the hook with questions pertaining to these letters. To try and alleviate some of the confusion these letters may have caused, I will try to provide an explanation that will answer your questions.

Landowners please note the FSA office has nothing to do with CAUV. CAUV is handled through the County Auditor’s office and is a State run agency. The FSA office is part of the United States Department of Agriculture which is a Federal agency.

These letters were mailed to provide owners and operators with information that will need to be checked for accuracy with their farm records. If the information is correct, no further action is needed at this time, but if our letter is incomplete or incorrect, you may contact our office to discuss the error.

We are aware that some farms need their history updated based on changes that have taken place on the farming operation between the years of 2009 – 2012. These changes would include selling part of a crop field, a producer not farming the entire farm, a farm that was transferred to our county for easy administration for the producer or farms that were combined into one operation per the producer’s request or due to common owner/operator. Verifying the accuracy of data on a farm’s acreage history is a required early step for enrolling in the upcoming Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.

As soon as procedure is received, farmers will have an opportunity to update their crop yield information and reallocate base acres. The FSA staff is currently working on updating information in the computer pertaining to farms that are missing history due to a change in farm number. You will not receive another notification showing the updates.

When procedure is received we will schedule you with an appointment to review our information and to make decisions based on what is offered in the new program as it pertains to reallocating base acres. Procedure on what is needed to update your crop yield information has also not been received. I would suggest that you begin to accumulate your settlement sheets for the years 2008 through 2012 on the crops you would like to update the yield. Yes, the yield information begins with 2008 and will be a five year average. We do not know if there will be special provisions for producers with crop insurance. You will have to stay tuned for more information on this subject.

By mid-winter all producers (operators and owners) on a farm will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election between price protection and county revenue protection or individual revenue protection for 2014-2018 crop years. Producers can expect to sign contracts for ARC and/or PLC for the 2014 and 2015 crop years in the spring of 2015. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, dry peas, rapeseed, safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed, and wheat.

Please call your local Farm Service Agency office with any questions you may have.

I’m not confused. I’m just well mixed. – Robert Frost

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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