This year has found everyone in the office helping do acreage reports and sign producers into the Direct Counter-Cyclical Program.
Sometimes, one can forget everything they need to do to meet our program procedures.
I found a popular forgetful moment for producers was getting approval from Natural Resources Conservation Service prior to breaking out or clearing new land to plant to an agricultural commodity.
The term “sod busting” is used to identify the plowing up of erosion-prone grasslands for use as cropland. Sodbuster violations are unauthorized tillage practices on highly erodible lands that converted native vegetation such as rangeland or woodland, to crop production after Dec. 23, 1985.
Farmers and ranchers should be aware if they use highly erodible land for crop production without proper conservation measures, they risk losing eligibility to participate in Farm Service Agency programs.
Before producers clear, plow or otherwise prepare areas not presently under crop production for planting, they are required to file an AD-1026, indicating the area to be brought into production.
This includes getting rid of those fence rows to increase the size of your field. If Natural Resources Conservation Service indicates an area will be highly erodible land, the producer will be required to develop and implement a conservation plan on the affected acreage, before bringing land into production.
In addition, producers and the producer’s affiliates have to file an AD-1026 with the staff in the administrative or control county office before any farm program payments can be made.
The AD-1026 is the producer’s signed certification that HELC, as well as wetland conservation, provisions will not be violated.
Failure to follow this procedure can be very costly to the producer. You could lose all program benefits from our office.
Please be cautious and ask before you break out, clear any land or just clean up the fence row to plant to an agricultural commodity.
A simple visit to the FSA office today may save your program benefits tomorrow.
That’s all for now,
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