Key planting dates to remember

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Corn planting
Corn planting (Farm and Dairy file photo)

Hello Again!

Well, it’s finally planting time. As I’m out and about I am seeing more and more fields being worked.

I’m sure you can all agree that’s a good thing. We may not be as far along as we were this time last year but as we all know, every year is different.

Spring always brings a sense of optimisim to me. Whether it be from newly worked soil or calves playing on the pasture, the sense of newness and opportunity make it a time of hope for me.

Reporting deadline

I know we talked about acerage reporting dates last week and they are important. Please don’t let that July 15th reporting deadline sneak up on you. Though I know there will be a few procrastinators out there who will be coming into the office, hat in hand mumbling how you forgot. … don’t let that be you.

As soon as you’re done with your planting, call and set a time to come in and visit us … and while you’re here … another thing we will be talking about is your annual enrollment in the ARC/PLC program.

Producers who chose coverage from the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs do need to sign an annual contract to enroll in coverage for 2016. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1.

Although the choice between ARC and PLC was completed last year and remains in effect through 2018, you must still enroll your farms by signing a contract each year to receive coverage.

Not eligible

If a farm is not enrolled during the 2016 enrollment period, that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program.

New ground

Lastly, with planting well under way, if you find that you are just a bit ahead of schedule and want to break out a few more acres or upgrade that tiling before you get into the field with the planter, please remember to consult with FSA and NRCS before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing so without prior authorization may put a your federal farm program benefits in jeopardy.

This is especially true for land that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions. If you have HEL determined soils you are required to apply tillage, crop residue and rotational requirements as specified in your conservation plan to maintain your program eligibility.

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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