Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FSA Newsletter for March

by Casey Toyne, FSA agent

Dates to Remember
April 15, 2014 - Tentative date for Livestock Forage Program and Livestock Indemnity Program enrollment
May 15, 2014 - Final planting date for oats
July 15, 2014 - Final planting date for forage sorghum; final 2014 acreage reporting deadline; production reporting deadline for 2013 NAP crops
August 1, 2014 - Final planting date for forage millet
October 15, 2014 - End of coverage and harvest date for alfalfa, forage millet, and forage sorghum
October 20, 2014 - End of coverage and harvest date for mixed forage
October 31, 2014 - End of coverage and harvest date for oats and triticale

New Farm Bill Provides Permanent Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs
The 2014 Farm Bill, formally known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, makes the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) permanent programs and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to Oct. 1, 2011.
LFP provides compensation to eligible producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought and fire. LIP provides compensation to livestock producers who suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the Federal Government or protected by Federal law, including wolves and avian predators.
USDA is determined to make implementing the livestock disaster programs a top priority and plans to open program enrollment by April 15, 2014.

As USDA begins implementing the livestock disaster assistance programs, producers should record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:
Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses
Dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts
Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures
Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed
Crop records, including seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records
Pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters
Evidence of damaged farm land.

Many producers still have questions. USDA is in the process of interpreting Farm Bill program regulations. Additional information will be provided once the enrollment period is announced. In the meantime, producers can review the LIP and LFP Fact Sheets. Thanks for your patience as USDA works diligently to put Farm Bill programs into action to benefit the farmers and ranchers of rural America.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Mid-Contract Management
All CRP participants with contracts effective beginning with signup 26 are required to perform at least 1 Mid-Contract Management activity as part of their approved conservation plan. Mid-Contract Management activities are intended to create plant diversity for the benefit of wildlife and enhancement of the permanent cover.  Possible activities include disking, inter-seeding, prescribed burning, managed haying and managed grazing.
Management activities must be completed before the end of year 6 for contracts with a 10 year contract length, or before the end of year 9 for contracts with a 15 year contract length. In no case should the 1 required management activity occur during the last 3 years of the CRP contract.  Some management activities require that they be spread out over multiple years.  Because of this, producers with CRP contracts entering their 4th year, such as the signup 39 contracts, need to contact their respective FSA and NRCS offices to plan appropriate management activities.
The participant may receive up to 50 percent cost-share for the management practices.  Failure to perform planned management activities can result in contract violation and possible termination of the CRP contract along with associated termination fees.

For additional information, please contact the Lincoln County FSA or NRCS office.
Lincoln County FSA Office
316 5th Street
PO Box 97
Hugo, CO 80821
Phone: (719) 743-2408
Fax: (719) 743-2501
Office Hours:
Mon. - Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
County Committee: Colleen McCormick, Chair. Cody Clark, Vice-Chair.  R Lawn Thompson, Member
Office Staff: Casey Toyne, CED Alicha Stroud, PT. Danielle Kravig, PT. Allen Page, Sr. Farm Loan Officer.

2014 Acreage Reporting Dates
In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Lincoln County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline.
The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Lincoln County:
November 15, 2012 – Apiculture, Fall Barley, Perennial Forage, PRF/Grass, Fall Wheat, and other Fall-Seeded Small Grains.
January 15, 2013 – Apples, Grapes, Peaches
June15, 2013 – Onions
July 15, 2013 – All Other Crops

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates: 
If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July 15th.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the Lincoln County FSA office at (719) 743-2408.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
The noninsured crop disaster assistance program (NAP) is a federally funded program that helps producers reduce their risk when growing food and fiber crops, specialty crops and crops for livestock feed. These benefits are only available for crops for which the catastrophic level of crop insurance is not available. Application for coverage must be filed by the applicable crop’s application closing date.   

Production records for all crops must be reported to FSA no later than the acreage reporting date for the crop for the following year.  FSA requires that any production reported in a loss year be verifiable according to Agency specifications. NAP Losses must be reported within 15 days of the date the loss became apparent. 

All applications for NAP payment must be signed by the subsequent crop year's acreage reporting date in order to be considered timely. There are no late-file provisions for NAP applications for payment.

Direct Loan Changes
Changes were made to the interest rate charged on loans where FSA provides 50 percent or less on jointly financed purchases of real estate also called Direct Farm Ownership Participation Loans. The interest rate will be the greater of 2.5 percent or the current interest rate for direct Farm Ownership loans minus 2 percent, as a fixed rate for the duration of the loan.  At present, the March direct Farm Ownership rate is 4.25 percent.  Because the 2.5 percent floor is greater than subtracting 2 percent from the direct farm ownership loan rate, the rate for Direct Farm Ownership Participation Loans in March is 2.5 percent.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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This service is provided to you at no charge by the USDA Farm Service Agency.
This newsletter is provided to you at no charge by the Limon Leader and Eastern Colorado Plainsman.

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