What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• May 15 - August 2: Primary Nesting Season. No MCM Activities on CRP Acres
• July 15: 2018 Crop Reports
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up
• August 1: Last day to request a farm/tract reconstitution for 2018 crop year
• August 17: CRP Signup 51

Only a Few Days Left for 2018 Crop Certification
The Allamakee County FSA office welcomes all county farmers to come in and report their 2018 crops. Certifying your crops is a requirement for many FSA programs. This includes all spring planted crops and land uses. Forages and pastures were to be reported last fall, and if you missed that deadline, we will be asking for that report now and collecting a late fee. 100% of the farm must be reported to be eligible for programs. Please report what is planted on your farm by the deadline of July 15.

FSA County Committee Nominations Launched June 15
USDA encourages America’s farmers and ranchers to nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their local county committee. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept nominations for county committee members beginning through August 1.

Producers can nominate themselves or others. This year the election will occur in LAA3 which includes Iowa, Lansing, Center, LaFayette, Paint Creek, and Taylor townships. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible to serve, producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program and reside in the area where the election is being held.

To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. All nomination forms for the 2018 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by August 1, 2018. Visit www.farmers.gov for more information.

Power of Attorney
For those who find it difficult to visit the county office personally because of work schedules, distance, health, etc., FSA has a power of attorney form available that enables you to designate another person to conduct your business at the office. If you are interested, contact our office or any Farm Service Agency office near you for more information. Power of Attorney provisions do not apply to farm loan programs. 

Changing Bank Accounts
All FSA payments should be electronically transferred into your bank account. In order to make timely payments, you need to notify the office if you close your account or if your bank is purchased by another financial institution. Payments can be delayed if we are not aware of changes to account and routing numbers.

Maintaining Good Credit History
Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan programs require that applicants have a satisfactory credit history. A credit report is requested for all FSA direct farm loan applicants. These reports are reviewed to verify outstanding debts, if bills are paid timely and to determine the impact on cash flow.

Information found on a customer’s credit report is strictly confidential and is used only as an aid in conducting FSA business.

Our farm loan staff will discuss options with you if you have an unfavorable credit report and will provide a copy of your report. If you dispute the accuracy of the information on the credit report, it is up to you to contact the issuing credit report company to resolve any errors or inaccuracies.

There are multiple ways to remedy an unfavorable credit score.

• Make sure to pay bills on time. Setting up automatic payments or automated reminders can be an effective way to remember payment due dates.
• Pay down existing debt.
• Keep your credit card balances low.
• Avoid suddenly opening or closing existing credit accounts.

FSA’s farm loan staff will guide you through the process, which may require you to reapply for a loan after improving or correcting your credit report.

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