What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Reminders
June 15-Aug. 3: Nominations for COC elections.
June 15 - September 30: ARC/PLC sign-up period for 2014/2015 program.
July 1 - September 30: 2016 MPP (Dairy) Program sign-up.
August 1: Last day to request reconstitution for 2015.

HELI Additional Acres
Iowa has been approved for an additional allocation of Highly Erodible Land Initiative (HELI). HELI provides an excellent opportunity for producers to enroll their most highly erodible acres and also is an avenue for CRP participants to re-enroll expiring acres if they met the HELI eligibility requirements. CRP acres on an expiring general tree practice are eligible if they meet the CP3 or CP3A standards, per the foresters review or the cover can be brought up to the standards according to the forestry plan.
The acres being offered will need to have a weighted Erodibility Index (EI) greater than or equal to 20. Contact the Allamakee County FSA Office as soon as possible if you are interested at 563-568-2148. Acre allotments for Iowa are limited.
 
Margin Protection Program
July 1, 2015 the Margin Protection Program (MPP) sign-up began. As a reminder, once producers who signed up for the 2015 MPP program year based on MPP regulations, they are required to sign up for years 2016-2018.
Each year dairy producers will received a bump in their pounds from the previous year. The coverage election will need to be completed each year also. For example: in 2015 a producer elected to go $5.00 at 65% for $100 fee and a premium amount. In 2016 the producer chooses to go $4.00 @ 90% for $100. This is one example what dairy producers can do in the coming years. If you have any questions in regards to this program or if you are running a new dairy, contact the county office.

2014/2015 ARC/PLC Sign-up
The ARC/PLC program software is now available to sign up for 2014 and/or 2015 program years. The sign-up period is June 15 - September 30. Around June 15, the FSA issued ARC/PLC notifications of bases, yields and the election chosen for the farm. These notifications were sent to farm operators, owners, and other producers of record on the farm.

Committee Elections
The nomination period began June 15 and ends August 3. Request nomination forms from the Allamakee County FSA Office or online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections
The townships involved for the elections are:  Iowa, Lansing, Center, La Fayette, Paint Creek and Taylor.

USDA Reminds Farmers of 2014 Farm Bill Conservation Compliance Changes
The 2014 Farm Bill implements a change that requires farmers to have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026) on file.
For farmers to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance, a completed and signed AD-1026 certification form must be on file with the FSA. The Risk Management Agency (RMA), through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), manages the federal crop insurance program that provides the modern farm safety net for American farmers and ranchers.
Since enactment of the 1985 Farm Bill, eligibility for most commodity, disaster, and conservation programs has been linked to compliance with the highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation provisions.
The 2014 Farm Bill continues the requirement that producers adhere to conservation compliance guidelines to be eligible for most programs administered by FSA and NRCS. This includes most financial assistance such as the new price and revenue protection programs, the Conservation Reserve Program, the Livestock Disaster Assistance programs and Marketing Assistance Loans and most programs implemented by FSA. It also includes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program, and other conservation programs implemented by NRCS.
Many FSA and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs already have implemented this requirement and therefore most producers should already have an AD-1026 from on file for their associated lands.
When a farmer completes and submits the AD-1026 certification form, FSA and NRCS staff will review the associated farm records and outline any additional actions that may be required to meet the required compliance with the conservation compliance provisions.
FSA recently released a revised form AD-1026, which is available at USDA Service Centers and online at: www.fsa.usda.gov. USDA will publish a rule later this year that will provide details outlining the connection of conservation compliance with crop insurance premium support. Producers can also contact their local USDA Service Center for information. A list of service center locations is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/contact/loc.

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