What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• November 10: Office closed in recognition of Veteran’s Day
• December 15: Report acreages intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2018
• December 15: Sign up for, or opt out of, the 2018 Margin Protection Program

County Committee Election
During the week of November 6 producers in Ludlow, Jefferson, Post, Franklin, Linton, and Fairview Townships will receive county committee voting ballots.  The last day to return completed ballots to the FSA office is December 4. If you’re an eligible producer in one of these townships, please be on the lookout for your ballot. Committee members are a critical component of FSA operations.

November Farm-Stored Facility Loan (FSFL) Rates
New November loan rates for FSFL’s were issued and are as follows:

• 1.625% for a 3-year loan
• 1.875% for a 5-year loan
• 2.125% for a 7-year loan
• 2.375% for a 10 year loan
• 2.375% for a 12-year loan
• 2.500% for a 15-year loan

The FSFL Program provides financing so producers can build or upgrade facilities to store commodities. Many commodities are eligible and include grains, hay, honey, fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, meat/poultry (unprocessed), and aquaculture. Eligible facility types include grain bins, hay barns, bulk tanks, and facilities for cold storage. Drying, handling and storage equipment is also eligible, including storage and handling trucks. Eligible facilities and equipment may be new or used, permanently affixed or portable.

The maximum loan amount for storage facilities is $500,000. The maximum loan amount for storage and handling trucks is $100,000.  In 2016 FSA introduced a new loan category, the microloan, for loans with an aggregate balance up to $50,000. Microloans offer a 5 percent down payment requirement, compared to a 15 percent down payment for a regular FSFL, and waive the regular three-year production history requirement.

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.

Highly Erodible Land
Many farms in Allamakee County have highly erodible land. These fields must follow their conservation plan established by 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.

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