What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• May 15 - August 2: Primary Nesting Season. No MCM Activities on CRP Acres
• May 31: Marketing Assistance Loans for Prior Year Harvested Corn and Soybeans
• June 1: Margin Protection Program (MPP) Signup
• July 15: 2018 Crop Reports
• August 1: ARC/PLC Sign-up

Crop Reporting
As planting has begun for some and will begin soon for others, Allamakee county farmers are reminded to report all spring planted crops to the FSA office by July 15 to remain eligible for FSA and other USDA programs.   Please remember to bring planting dates with you.  It is the producer’s responsibility to accurately report acres and producer’s shares in individual crops.  Discrepancies found later may affect eligibility for all FSA-administered programs.  Any crop report filed or revised after July 15 will be assessed a measurement service fee (per farm). 

Administrative Changes to the Livestock Indemnity Program
Starting today, agricultural producers who have lost livestock to disease, resulting from a weather disaster, have an additional way to become eligible for the Livestock Indemnity Program.

In the event of disease, this change by USDA’s Farm Service Agency authorizes local FSA county committees to accept veterinarian certifications that livestock deaths were directly related to adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management. The committees may then use this certification to allow eligibility for producers on a case-by-case basis for LIP.

LIP provides benefits to agricultural producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease or by attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government. Eligible weather events include earthquakes, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, blizzard and flooding.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers who have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs.

Eligible livestock losses include grazing losses not covered under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), loss of purchased feed and/or mechanically harvested feed due to an eligible adverse weather event, additional cost of transporting water because of an eligible drought and additional cost associated with gathering livestock to treat for cattle tick fever.

Eligible honeybee losses include loss of purchased feed due to an eligible adverse weather event, cost of additional feed purchased above normal quantities due to an eligible adverse weather condition, colony losses in excess of normal mortality due to an eligible weather event or loss condition, including CCD, and hive losses due to eligible adverse weather.

Producers who suffer eligible livestock, honeybee, or farm-raised fish losses from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018 must file:

• A notice of loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent or by Nov. 1, 2018
• An application for payment by Nov. 1, 2018

County Office Committees
County committees play a vital role in the administration of federal farm programs, and members come from one of three pre-determined local administrative areas (LAAs).  These areas are determined by many factors but include population, fair representation, and types of farming.

Elections are held each year on a rotational basis.  This year the election will occur in LAA3 which includes Iowa, Lansing, Center, LaFayette, Paint Creek, and Taylor townships.  To be eligible to serve you must participate or cooperate in a FSA program, be eligible to vote, and live in the LAA where you are nominated. 

The nomination period will start 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 5 and are due back no later than December 3.  All newly elected members take office January 1, and serve for three years, with a maximum tenure of three terms served. So if you reside in LAA-3, and would like to run, stop in after June 15 to pick up the nomination form and return it to us by August 1.

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