What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• November 23: Office closed in observance of Thanksgiving
• 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

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 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.

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.

Marketing Assistance Loans
As harvest wraps up on the 2017 crop, the FSA office would like to remind producers that marketing assistance loans are available through our office. The 2017 loan rates are $1.87 for corn, and $4.99 for beans. If you do take out a marketing assistance loan with us, we will need a copy of your driver’s license as well as your spouses. We can make those copies when you are in the office. 

Unauthorized Disposition of Grain
If loan grain has been disposed of through feeding, selling or any other form of disposal without prior written authorization from the county office staff, it is considered unauthorized disposition. The financial penalties for unauthorized dispositions are severe and a producer’s name will be placed on a loan violation list for a two-year period. Always call before you plan to haul any grain under loan.

Beginning Farmer Loans
FSA assists beginning farmers to finance agricultural enterprises. Under these designated farm loan programs, FSA can provide financing to eligible applicants through either direct or guaranteed loans. FSA defines a beginning farmer as a person who:

• Has operated a farm for not more than 10 years
• Will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm
• Agrees to participate in a loan assessment, borrower training and financial management program sponsored by FSA
• Does not own a farm in excess of 30 percent of the county’s average size farm.

Additional program information, loan applications, and other materials are available at your local USDA Service Center. You may also visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

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