What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• UPDATED: September 1 - December 15: 2018 Margin Protection Program Sign-Up
• May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up
• August 1: Last day to request a farm/tract reconstitution for 2017 crop year
• August 1: Final date to submit a nomination for the FSA Committee Election

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.

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 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.

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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