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 – 2017 Crop Reports (FSA 578)   
• July 1 – Sept. 30: Sign up for the 2018 MPP Dairy Program
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up

Crop Reporting
The Allamakee County FSA office welcomes all county farmers to come in and report their 2017 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.

While you’re in the office, be sure to sign up for the 2017 Agricultural Risk Program as well. This program began in 2014 and runs through 2018. Every year you need to come in, tell us who is operating the land, and sign form CCC-861 so that the correct producers may be paid any earned program benefits. The deadline to sign up is August 1. 

USDA Farm Service Agency Offers Text Alerts to County Producers
Farmers and ranchers can now receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone. Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go. Producers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates.

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.

ARC/PLC Acreage Maintenance
Producers enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs must protect all cropland and noncropland acres on the farm from wind and water erosion and noxious weeds. Producers who sign ARC county or individual contracts and PLC contracts agree to effectively control noxious weeds on the farm according to sound agricultural practices. If a producer fails to take necessary actions to correct a maintenance problem on a farm that is enrolled in ARC or PLC, the County Committee may elect to terminate the contract for the program year. 

Upcoming County Office Committee Election in LAA-2
The COC 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.

Details of Guaranteed Loan Program
FSA guaranteed loans allow lenders to provide agricultural credit to farmers who do not meet the lender’s normal underwriting criteria. Farmers and ranchers apply for a guaranteed loan through a lender, and the lender arranges for the guarantee. FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. Guaranteed loans can be used for both farm ownership and operating purposes. 

Guaranteed farm ownership loans can be used to purchase farmland, construct or repair buildings, develop farmland to promote soil and water conservation or to refinance debt.

Guaranteed operating loans can be used to purchase livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance and other operating expenses.

FSA can guarantee farm ownership and operating loans up to $1,399,000. Repayment terms vary depending on the type of loan, collateral and the producer’s ability to repay the loan. Operating loans are normally repaid within seven years and farm ownership loans are not to exceed 40 years.

Please contact your lender or local FSA farm loan office for more information on guaranteed loans.

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