What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• 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
Producers in Ludlow, Jefferson, Post, Franklin, Linton, and Fairview Townships should have received their county committee voting ballots last week. 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.

USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage in 2018
FSA announced that starting November 1, 2017, farmers and ranchers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net program may enroll for the 2018 crop year. The enrollment period will end on August 1, 2018.
Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each program year.

The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 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 previous years must still enroll during the 2018 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.

Environmental Review Required Before Project Implementation
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to consider all potential environmental impacts for federally-funded projects before the project is approved.

For all Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs, an environmental review must be completed before actions are approved, such as site preparation or ground disturbance. These programs include, but are not limited to, the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program and farm loans. If project implementation begins before FSA has completed an environmental review, this will result in a denial of the request. There are exceptions regarding the Stafford Act and emergencies. It is important to wait until you receive written approval of your project proposal before starting any actions, including, but not limited to, vegetation clearing, site preparation or ground disturbance.

Remember to contact your local FSA office early in your planning process to determine what level of environmental review is required for your program application so that it can be completed timely.

Applications cannot be approved contingent upon the completion of an environmental review. FSA must have copies of all permits and plans before an application can be approved.

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