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 1: Primary Nesting Season
• July 15: Report All Spring-Seeded Crops   
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up

Crop Reporting
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.

County Office Committees
County committees play a vital role in the administration of federal farm programs. They make decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs, emergency/disaster programs, employing County Executive Directors and other significant agricultural issues with the USDA.

Members come from one of three pre-determined local administrative areas (LAAs), and elections are held each year on a rotational basis.  This year the election will occur in LAA2 which includes Ludlow, Jefferson, Post, Franklin, Linton, and Fairview townships. To be eligible to serve you must participate or cooperate in a FSA program, be eligible to vote, and live in the LAA where you are nominated. 

The nomination period will start June 15 and producers can nominate themselves or others. If you would like to run, or are nominated and agree to run, you will need to complete form FSA-669A, which you can pick up at our office or online at fsa.usda.gov/elections. All nominations must be postmarked or received in our office by August 1.

Election ballots are then mailed to eligible voters in the electing LAA beginning November 6 and are due back no later than December 4. All newly elected members take office January 1, and serve for three years, with a maximum of three terms. So if you reside in LAA-2, and would like to run, stop in after June 15 to pick up the nomination form and return it to us by August 1.

Transition Incentive Program (TIP)
The Transition Incentives Program offers assistance for retired or retiring land owners and operators, as well as opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. It provides the retired/retiring land owners or operators with two additional annual rental payments on land enrolled in expiring CRP contracts, on the condition they sell or rent this land to a beginning farmer or rancher or to a socially disadvantaged group. Up to two additional annual CRP payments can be obtained through TIP. New land owners or renters must return the land to production using sustainable grazing or farming methods.

Only land enrolled in an expiring CRP contract is eligible. TIP enrollment is on a continuous basis, and may occur up to one year before a contract is set to expire. To qualify for TIP, the retiring land owner or operator must either sell this land, or lease it on a long-term basis (at least five year), to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher.

Beginning or Socially Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers may be eligible to re-enroll the land in CRP continuous Signup Programs. New owners and operators may also be eligible to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program or Environmental Quality Incentives Program, both initiatives of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

USDA Farm Service Agency Offers Text Alerts to Allamakee County Producers
The USDA Farm Service Agency wants to inform farmers and ranchers they can sign up to receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone.

Producers can text IAAllamakee to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Allamakee County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

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