With the 16-day government shutdown finally over we resumed operations on Oct. 17.
We apologize for the delay in payments you have experienced due to the shutdown. We are very pleased to announce that CRP annual rental payments have now been issued. Producers should find that their CRP payments have been deposited in their bank by early next week at the latest.
DCP/ACRE payments were to be available for us to start issuing this past Thursday. Issuing payments is time consuming, but doing so is the first priority of our office until all payments have been issued. If any of your payments have not arrived at your bank by the first week in November, give us a call and we will check on your payments for you.
In the case of a 2013 DCP contract, if you have not provided all necessary supporting documents your contract has not been approved, and payment cannot be issued. Conferees have been put into place to work on the new Farm Bill. We will provide you with any updates on that process as soon as we receive any information.
Producers are reminded that the certification date has changed. The new date to certify wheat and other small grains planted for 2014 is Dec. 15, 2013. The new date was established last year. There is no grace period this year for failure to certify your small grains by Dec. 15. Late filing fees will apply. Call our office to get your wheat and other small grains certified as soon as possible.
Marketing Assistance Loans
A Marketing Assistance Loan is available for producers who share in the risk of producing the crop. To be eligible, a producer must maintain continual beneficial interest in the crop from harvest through the earlier of the date the loan is repaid or CCC takes title to the commodity.
Beneficial interest means retaining the ability to make decisions about the commodity; responsibility for loss or damage to the commodity; and title to the commodity. Once beneficial interest in a commodity is lost, the commodity is ineligible for loan — even if the producer regains beneficial interest.
Commodity loan eligibility also requires compliance with conservation and wetland protection requirements; beneficial interest requirements, acreage reporting and ensuring the commodity meets Commodity Credit Corporation minimum grade and quality standards.
For commodities to be eligible they must have been produced by an eligible producer, be in existence and in a storable condition and be merchantable for food, feed or other uses as determined by CCC. The quality of the commodity in farm storage must be maintained throughout the term of the loan.
Producers do not have to participate in the Direct and Counter-Cyclical and/or ACRE Programs to be eligible for commodity loans. Violating provisions of a Marketing Assistance Loan may trigger administrative actions, such as assessing liquidated damages, calling the loan and denial of future farm-stored loans.
The most common violations are removing or disposing of a commodity being used as loan collateral without prior authorization and providing an incorrect quantity certification.
The continuing Appropriation Resolution, 2013 suspended mohair, MALs and LDPs for FY 2013.
Rural Youth Loans
The Farm Service Agency makes loans to rural youths to establish and operate income-producing projects in connection with 4-H clubs, FFA and other agricultural groups. Projects must be planned and operated with the help of the organization adviser, produce sufficient income to repay the loan and provide the youth with practical business and educational experience.
The maximum loan amount is $5,000. To be eligible applicants must be a citizen of the United States (which includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) or a legal resident alien and;
• Be 10-20 years old
• Live in a rural area or in a town of 50,000 people or fewer
• Obtain a written recommendation and consent from a parent or guardian if the applicant has not reached the age of majority under state law
• Comply with FSA’s general eligibility requirements
• Be unable to get a loan from other sources
• Conduct a modest income-producing project in a supervised program of work as outlined above
• Demonstrate capability of planning, managing and operating the project under guidance and assistance from a project advisor. The project supervisor must recommend the project and the loan, along with providing adequate supervision.
To find out more about the FSA Rural Youth loan program contact the Huron/Erie County FSA Office to setup an appointment with a loan approval official.
Highly Erodible Lands and Wetland Compliance
Producers participating in most programs administered by the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are required to abide by certain conditions on any land owned or farmed that is highly erodible or that is considered a wetland. To be in compliance with the highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation provisions, producers must agree, that they will not:
• Produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without a conservation system;
• Plant an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland;
• Convert a wetland to make possible the production of an agricultural commodity.
Producers planning to remove fence rows, convert woodlots to cropland, combine crop fields, divide a crop field into two or more fields, install new drainage, or improve or modify existing drainage must notify the FSA and update Form AD-1026. FSA will notify NRCS, and NRCS will then provide highly erodible land or wetland technical determinations.
For additional information on highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance contact the Huron/Erie County FSA office or the NRCS office.