What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 6: Market Facilitation Program

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Payments
We will soon be issuing payments for the Conservation Reserve Program.  CRP payments begin with those contracted prior to 2008. Barring no computer delays, those payments will begin being issued October 2. For CRP contracts that began after the 2008 Farm Bill, payments will be issued starting October 9. Remember that these take a few days to be deposited into your account.

CRP Mid-Contract Management
Some CRP contract holders will receive a packet of information detailing the activities that need to be completed in FY20.  You can begin those activities as early as October 1, 2019. However, all activities need to be completed by May 14, 2020 unless otherwise indicated on your forms. Now is a great time to line up contractors, if needed. Their schedules fill up quickly. Stop in or call if you have any questions. 

ACR/PLC Payments
If Allamakee receives ARC or PLC payments this year, those will also begin processing in early October.  However, at this time we do not know if Allamakee will receive payments for beans or corn and won’t know for sure until early October.  

Power of Attorney
For those who find it difficult to visit the county office personally because of work schedules, distance, health, etc., FSA has a power of attorney form available that enables you to designate another person to conduct your business at the office. If you are interested, please contact our office or any Farm Service Agency office near you for more information. Power of Attorney provisions do not apply to farm loan programs. 

CRP Maintenance
FSA recommends everyone routinely check the quality of your CRP acres. Remove volunteer trees, spray or mow weedy areas, ensure waterways are still the appropriate width, watch for cropping getting a little too close, wildlife food plots are accurate size and seeding, and make sure hunting shacks are not on CRP ground. Hunting shacks are allowed during the hunting season, but once the season is over, the shack must be removed. The nesting season (may 15 - August 1) is over so work can resume on maintaining your acres. If you have questions or would like technical assistance, please call or stop in. 

Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Compliance
Landowners and operators are reminded that to receive payments from USDA, compliance with HEL and WC provisions are required. Farmers with HEL determined soils are reminded of tillage, crop residue, and rotation requirements as specified per their conservation plan. Producers are to notify the USDA Farm Service Agency prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to insure compliance. Failure to obtain advance approval for any of these situations can result in the loss of eligibility and all Federal payments.

Maintaining the Quality of Farm-Stored Loan Grain
Bins are ideally designed to hold a level volume of grain. When bins are overfilled and grain is heaped up, airflow is hindered and the chance of spoilage increases. Producers who take out marketing assistance loans and use the farm-stored grain as collateral should remember that they are responsible for maintaining the quality of the grain through the term of the loan.

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 haul any grain under loan.