As you read this, Memorial Day is right around the corner. Maybe you will celebrate with a cookout and a visit to the cemetery. Maybe you will attend a parade or maybe you will spend it in the seat of a tractor. No matter how you celebrate Memorial Day, I hope you take the time to give thanks to the veterans who laid down their lives so we are able to celebrate as we chose.
Let us not forget that for every sword we have made into a plowshare, we have also, at times, turned plowshares into swords when we have had too.
Farmers and ranchers in every county benefit from the individuals who take the time to serve agriculture as a county committee member for their local FSA office. Committee members play a vital role by helping local farmers manage tough financial times and natural disasters. They make decisions on applications for federal farm program and disaster eligibility and payments.
Committee members serve a three year term and represent the townships surrounding their homes. They are nominated and voted for by active Anyone, regardless of race, gender or age who is interested is encouraged to nominate themselves or another eligible candidate or contact their local FSA office for more information.
The nomination period begins June 15 and runs until Aug. 1. Nomination forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by close of business on Aug. 1.
As I have spent time walking through orchards and vineyards over the last several weeks, examining the aftermath of the ravages of a severe winter, I am grateful we have a farm bill that is able to lend assistance to many of these growers.
The disaster programs approved in the 2014 farm bill could not have come at a better time for orchardists and vineyards that are facing catastrophic losses with peaches and grapes.
The Tree Assistance Program is available for commercial growers to help offset the costs of either replacing or rehabilitating trees, vines and shrubs that are depended on for producing income.
From the date of approval the grower has 12 months available to replant or rehabilitate damaged stock. Additional 12-month extensions can be granted at the state level and again at the national level when need is shown, allowing producers up to 36 months to complete the approved work.
In addition to the Tree Assistance Program, we also offer the Livestock Indemnity Program, Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm Raised Fish and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program.
Details of the Agricultural Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage and the Supplemental Coverage Option are expected to be ready early fall, as well the Dairy Margin Protection Program. These programs will still require crop reporting and compliance with wetland conservation and highly erodible land conservation practices still apply.
Plan on reporting your 2014 spring planted crops by July 15 and remember to stop in your FSA office and complete an AD 1026 for wetland determinations before you break out new ground or improve existing drainage.
Crop reporting deadlines are as follows: June 2 — report nursery crop acreage; July 15 — report all your burley tobacco, cabbage (planted 3/19/14-5/31/14), corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets, tomatoes and all other crops; Aug. 15 — report cabbage (planted 6/1/14-7/20/14); Sept. 30 — report aquaculture; Dec. 15, — fall barley, fall wheat, and all other fall-seeded small grains.
As with all of our programs, do not hesitate to contact your local FSA office with questions or for further information regarding the programs that we offer.
That’s all for now,