Consult with FSA and NRCS before breaking new ground

planting field

Hello again!

Let me start off by saying that this part of the article has nothing to do with an FSA program, but everything to do about a farmer.

My daughter has been struggling with some shoulder issues. The doctor put in her a sling with a swath, completely limiting use of her right arm. Of course, during this time my husband and I are picking up the slack taking care of her 4-H projects as well as many other things.

She has two feeder calves that are currently being bottle fed and also a steer that weighs in at about 1,000 pounds and has a tendency to throw his weight around to get his way. But those little guys that are just days old, struggling to use their own wobbly legs, just tug at my heart strings. In a world that is constantly busy, constantly hectic, these two little guys can make me pause and remember the beauty of life.

Even at 5:30 in the morning when I am tired and know that I need to leave for work in the next hour, standing there holding a bottle for them for about 25 minutes really makes me stop and reflect on the life of a farmer.


The wonder and beauty that I take for granted so many days, I feel like a farmer revels in as they help create so much that I think is so beautiful — a rolling field of corn swaying in the wind, a sunrise just peaking over a ripe golden field of wheat, a herd of cows in a green pasture, even the tire tracks in the snow with manure freshly spread.

A farmer can go hours not seeing another soul as they plant a field so far off the road that most people don’t even know it is there.

A farmer will see beauty in a plant emerging from the ground, a straight row of corn, or a newborn baby calf. So in the upcoming months when you are “stuck” behind a tractor moving from one field to another, instead of feeling impatient or wondering when you can pass, take a moment, slow down, enjoy the moment, reflect on the life of a farmer, and realize the beauty that surrounds you every day is absolutely, without a doubt, breathtaking.

Breaking New Ground

Breaking New Ground Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with FSA and NRCS before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing so without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm program benefits in jeopardy.

This is especially true for land that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions. Producers with HEL determined soils are required to apply tillage, crop residue and rotational requirements as specified in their conservation plan.

Producers should notify FSA as a first point of contact prior to conducting land clearing or drainage type projects to ensure the proposed actions meet compliance criteria, such as clearing any trees to create new cropland. These areas may need to be reviewed to ensure such work will not risk your eligibility for benefits.

Landowners and operators complete the form AD-1026 — Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification to identify the proposed action and allow FSA to determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for further review is necessary.

That’s all for now,
FSA Andy


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FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio.



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