What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• December 15: Acreages intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2018 need to be reported
• December 15: Sign up for, or opt out of, the 2018 Margin Protection Program

Fall Certification
The deadline to report acres of forage and pasture for 2018 is December 15, 2017. Late-file fees will be assessed for each farm not meeting the December 15 deadline. Make sure to get into the FSA office and certify any hay and pasture ground.

2018 Margin Protection Program
Area dairy producers have until December 15 to sign up for the Margin Protection Program (MPP). New this year, and for this year only, producers have the option to opt out of the program. If you choose to opt out, please stop in and let us know. MPP offers dairy producers protection when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount (margin) selected by the producer. Catastrophic coverage begins at $4 with an administrative fee of $100 and no premium for the producer. Producers have the option to buy-up coverage of $0.50 increments up to $8. When buy-up coverage is elected, an administration fee of $100 will be collected and a premium will be calculated. Payments will trigger when the average actual dairy production margin for a consecutive two-month period is less than the coverage level threshold selected by the participating dairy operation.
  
Highly Erodible Land
Many farms in Allamakee County have highly erodible land. These fields must follow their conservation plan established with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Some of these plans date back to the 1980’s. If you are not following your plan, you may be in violation of the highly erodible provisions. These violations can be severe and prevent you from receiving all government farm payments. If you haven’t reviewed your plan in a while, take a few minutes to do so. And if you have any questions, stop in and visit with NRCS.

USDA Processing Pending Conservation Reserve Program Continuous Enrollment Offers
The FSA will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and will temporarily suspend accepting most new offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year.

All current, eligible CRP continuous enrollment offers made through September 30, 2017, except for those made under the Pollinator Habitat Initiative (CP42), will be approved.  Additionally, FSA is temporarily suspending acceptance of most offers going forward to provide time to review CRP allocation levels, and to avoid exceeding the statutory cap of 24 million acres.

The CRP acreage cap is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill. Current enrollment is about 23.5 million acres nationwide. USDA is accepting all pending continuous enrollment offers that were made beginning May 4, 2017, and extending through September 30, 2017, except Pollinator Habitat Initiative offers. Pollinator acreage offers are being declined because the program has met its acreage enrollment goal.

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