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Notes for Huron, Erie county farmers

Register • Jan 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Marketing assistance loans

Short-term financing is available by obtaining low-interest commodity loans for eligible harvested production.

A nine-month Marketing Assistance Loan provides financing that allows producers to store production for later marketing. The crop may be stored on the farm or in the warehouse. Loans are available for producers who share in the risk of producing the eligible commodity and maintain beneficial interest in the crop through the duration of the loan. Beneficial interest means retaining the ability to make decisions about the commodity, responsibility for loss because of damage to the commodity and title to the commodity. Once beneficial interest in a commodity is lost, it is ineligible for a loan, even if you regain beneficial interest.

Farm bill

As the New Year begins, we have no new farm bill in place or an extension of the expired farm bill. For that reason, we have no program sign-ups underway. We cannot take applications for any of the Conservation Reserve Programs, modify any existing contracts, or approve any additional cost share. We cannot provide a new AGI form for 2014 for any program participation, as we do not have the form available at this point and do not know what the AGI provisions will be for this year. We will provide you any information we receive.

   Public financial management information website

The FSA Financial Services website is now available at fsa.usda.gov/fmi/. This website provides information on getting access to financial applications, instructions on financial applications, financial fact sheets, examples of disbursement statements and the electronic form link. The website allows producers to generate reports that show both current and historical financial information.

Individual producers who have Internet access and have registered for e-authentication level 2 may use the FSA Financial Inquiries website. Information available includes payments, collections, debt, CCC-1099-G queries and customer account inquiry. Other Financial Services available include assignments of payment, joint payment and direct deposit information. To register online, go to eauth.egov.usda.gov or call our office for assistance.

Conservation compliance

To receive payments from USDA, landowners and operators must comply with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions. Farmers with HEL-determined soils are reminded to follow tillage, crop residue and rotation requirements as specified per their conservation plan. Contact the USDA Service Center prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to insure program compliance.

If you plan to do anything on the land that is considered manipulation of the soil, you need to be sure a determination on that land is in place. File form AD-1026 with our office, and we will provide the form to NRCS for its evaluation and determination. Once NRCA makes its determination, you will be notified and provided with appeal rights by NRCS in the event you do not agree with their findings.

The AD-1026 process should always be started before you begin your project. Whether you are clearing new land for production, or removing trees or an existing structure, come see us first. Failure to do so can result in ineligibility to receive benefits under USDA programs in the future and could require refunds of benefits previously received. Questions regarding a conservation plan or a previously filed AD-1026 should be directed to Lynette Harmon, NRCS-DC, at 419-668-4113 ext. 119.

Office closings

All FSA Offices will be closed Monday in observance of the federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day. We try to always remind you of any upcoming closures such as this one ahead of time; however, there are times when we cannot.

The adverse weather we experienced last week is a case in point. In the interest of the safety of our producers and staff, we closed at 10 a.m. Jan. 2 and reopened Jan. 3 as usual. Again, due to terrible weather including ice, snow, and horrendous wind chills, we once again had to close our doors on Jan 6 and 7. Some of our staff members drive to our office from Ashland, New London, and Castalia, and they have many side roads to maneuver.

We hope we will not have any more events that cause us to close early or not open at all. But, if a level three snow emergency is posted, in all likelihood we will go home or not come in at all. At a level two, if conditions are severe enough, we will close the office as well. As you know, we work on an appointment system. In the event of adverse weather, you should always give our office a call before making the trip.

Wool & unshorn pelts loan deficiency payments

Loan Deficiency Payments are available for producers who produced and sheared wool or sold unshorn lambs in 2013. Producers have until Jan. 31 to apply for 2013 benefits. For more information, call our office.

Foreign buyers notification

The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act requires all foreign owners of United States agricultural land to report their holdings to the Secretary of Agriculture. FSA administers this program for USDA. Foreign persons who have purchased or sold agricultural land in Huron or Erie County are required to report the transaction to FSA within 90 days of the closing. Failure to submit the AFIDA form could result in civil penalties up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the property. Think this pertains to you? Call our office.

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