USDA project aims to promote produce

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COLUMBUS — A new pilot project from the Ohio Farm Service Agency will permit producers in Ohio to plant cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkins, snap beans, sweet corn or tomatoes for processing on base acres under the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program. Ohio has been approved for 4,000 acres in the new pilot project.

Authorized in the 2008 farm bill, the Planting Transferability Pilot Project allows producers to plant approved fruits or vegetables for processing on a farm’s base acres — these include cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkin, snap beans, sweet corn or tomatoes. Without the Planting Transferability Pilot Project, planting these crops on base acres would be prohibited.

Base acres on a farm will be temporarily reduced each year on an acre-for-acre basis, for each base acre planted with an approved fruit or vegetable on that farm.

Deadline

The sign-up period for the Planting Transferability Pilot Project will end March 2.

Producers who already plant fruits or vegetables on eligible base acres do not need to enroll in the Planting Transferability Pilot Project unless they want to increase planting of fruits or vegetables on base acres. The Planting Transferability Pilot Project is designed to promote planting of fruits and vegetables on base acres where the farm or producer has no prior history of planting fruits or vegetables.

Eligible participants must agree to produce one of the approved crops for processing and to provide the county FSA office with a copy of the contract between the producer and processing plant. Participants must agree to produce the crop as part of a program of crop rotation on the farm to achieve agronomic, pest and disease management benefits, and to provide disposition evidence of the crop.

Form

Participants must complete form CCC-749 and file it with their local FSA office.

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