Each year, the Farm Service Agency is required to issue public notice on a variety of programs, policies, and opportunities available at the county office. Questions can be directed to your local Farm Service Agency office.
Commodity loans, also referred to as marketing assistance loans, are available to producers who share in the risk of producing the crop. To be eligible, you must maintain beneficial interest in the crop through the time of application. Once beneficial interest in a commodity is lost, the commodity is ineligible for loan — even if you regain beneficial interest. Violating provisions of a marketing assistance loan may trigger administrative actions, such as assessing liquidated damages, calling the loan and denial of future farm-stored loans. The most common violations are removing or disposing of a commodity being used as loan collateral without prior authorization and providing an incorrect quantity certification.
Foreign buyers notification
All foreign owners of U.S. agricultural land are required to report their holdings to the secretary of agriculture. All individuals who are not U.S. citizens, and have purchased or sold agricultural land in the county are required to report the transaction to FSA with 90 days of the closing. Failure could result in civil penalties of up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the property.
Farming operation changes
If you have bought or sold land, or if you have added or dropped rented land from your operation, make sure you report the changes to the office as soon as possible. You need to provide a copy of your deed or recorded land contract for purchased property. Failure to maintain accurate records with FSA on all land you have an interest in can lead to possible program ineligibility and penalties. Making the record changes now will save you time in the spring. Update signature authorization when changes in the operation occur.
Highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance
Landowners and operators are reminded that in order to receive payments from USDA, compliance with Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions is required. Farmers with HEL-determined soils are reminded to comply with tillage, crop residue, and rotation requirements specified in their conservation plan. Farmers are to notify the USDA Farm Service Agency prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to insure compliance. Failure to obtain advance approval for any of these activities can result in the loss of eligibility Bank account changes. Current policy mandates that FSA payments be electronically transferred into your bank account. Producers need to notify the FSA county office if your account has been changed or if another financial institution purchases your bank. Payments can be delayed if the FSA office is not aware of updates to your account and routing numbers.
Financial inquiries for FSA producers
January signals the beginning of a new year, and a time to gather financial records and start thinking about filling out a 1040. Producers who have signed up for a USDA eAuthentication Level 2 account will be able to access their farm data through Financial Inquires for FSA Producers. The site is available under “Online Services” on the Ohio FSA webpage at www.fsa.usda.gov/oh.
If you need to inquire about a particular electronic deposit, program payment, debt, or 1099G, USDA Level 2 customers can go here to view financial information.
As preparations continue for this year’s Census of Agriculture, we call on farmers and ranchers to share their stories, ask questions and talk to their fellow producers about this critical effort. Your answers to the census help grow your farm future; shape farm programs; and boost services for you, your community and your industry. NASS mailed census forms in late December, and responses are due Feb. 4. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online.
For more information visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).
That’s all for now,
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