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 3 - Dec. 15: Sign up for the 2018 MPP Dairy Program
• July 4: Office closed
• July 15: 2017 Crop Reports   
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up
• August 1: Final date to request a farm/tract reconstitution

Crop Reporting by July 15
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.

Enrollment Period for 2017 Safety Net Coverage Continues Through Aug. 1
Producers on farms with base acres under the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, can visit their local FSA office to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1, 2017.

Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year.

If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in 2015 must still enroll during the 2017 enrollment period.

The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity. For more details regarding these programs, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

CRP Participants Must Maintain Approved Cover on Acreages Enrolled in CRP and Farm Programs
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants are responsible for ensuring adequate, approved vegetative and practice cover is maintained to control erosion throughout the life of the contract after the practice has been established. Participants must also control undesirable vegetation, weeds (including noxious weeds), insects and rodents that may pose a threat to existing cover or adversely impact other landowners in the area.

All CRP maintenance activities, such as mowing, burning, disking and spraying, must be conducted outside the primary nesting or brood rearing season for wildlife, which for Iowa is May 15 – August 1. However, spot treatment of the acreage may be allowed during the primary nesting or brood rearing season if, left untreated, the weeds, insects or undesirable species would adversely impact the approved cover. In this instance, spot treatment is limited to the affected areas in the field and requires County Committee approval prior to beginning the spot treatment. The County Committee will consult with NRCS to determine if such activities are needed to maintain the approved cover.

Annual mowing of CRP for generic weed control, or for cosmetic purposes, is prohibited at all times.

Upcoming County Office Committee Election in LAA-2
The COC nomination period started 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 to pick up the nomination form and return it to us by August 1.

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