Although we still do not have a farm bill in place, producers are reminded that all HEL and Wetland regulations remain in force. If you wish to clear land of trees or structures, install tile in your fields or manipulate the soil for any purpose, you are required to file an AD-1026-Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification with our office prior to beginning your project.
Once the form is filed we will provide all information to NRCS and a determination of the land you want to work with will be made. The lack of a farm bill does not change the HEL and WC provisions. Penalties and administrative actions apply in all cases of violations. If you have any questions in regard to these provisions, please contact our office.
FSA ADVISES PRODUCERS TO ANTICIPATE PAYMENT REDUCTIONS DUE TO MANDATED SEQUESTER
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is reminding farmers and ranchers who participate in FSA programs to plan accordingly in FY2014 for automatic spending reductions known as sequestration. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) mandates that federal agencies implement automatic, annual reductions to discretionary and mandatory spending limits.
For mandatory programs, the sequestration rate for FY2014 is 7.2 percent. Accordingly, FSA is implementing varying sequestration rates for the following programs:
• Dairy Indemnity Payment Program
• Marketing Assistance Loans q#Loan Deficiency Payments
• Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
• Tobacco Transition Payment Program;
• 2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payments
• 2013 Average Crop Revenue Election Program
• 2011 and 2012 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program Conservation Reserve Program payments are specifically exempt by statute from sequestration, thus these payments will not be reduced. These sequester percentages reflect current law estimates; however with the continuing budget uncertainty, Congress still may adjust the exact percentage reduction. Today’s announcement intends to help producers plan for the impact of sequestration cuts in FY2014.
At this time, FSA is required to implement the sequester reductions. Due to the expiration of the Farm Bill on Sept. 30, FSA does not have the flexibility to cover these payment reductions in the same manner as in FY13. FSA will provide notification as early as practicable on the specific payment reductions. For information about FSA programs, visit your county USDA Service Center or go to www. fsa.usda.gov/.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION REAPPOINTS STATE COMMITTEE FOR USDA’S OHIO FARM SERVICE AGENCY
Steve Maurer, Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Ohio, announced the reappointment of four State Committee members. The State Committee is responsible for the oversight of farm programs, county committee operations, appeals, federal farm policy determinations and provides FSA program information to the public and other agency stakeholders. “I am grateful that our state committee members were reappointed and can continue their involvement with Ohio FSA ” Maurer said. The individuals reappointed to serve on this committee are:
• Robert Boggs (Chairman): Boggs, from Ashtabula County, grew up on a small dairy farm. He served in elective politics for 34 years, serving in both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. In 2007, Gov. Ted Strickland appointed Boggs as Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
• Bruce Long: From Clark County, Long and his wife, Connie, have a row crop grain operation raising corn and soybeans. He has served with the Ohio Corn Marketing Board, the Ohio Livestock Coalition Board and the U.S. Grains Council.
• Jim Rex: From Morgan County, Rex and his wife, Judy, farm in partnership with their son, Jason, and wife, Cherie, and granddaughters in a beef cow-calf, stocker and feedlot operation.
• Jim Zumbrink: Zumbrink, from Darke County, has a farming operation consisting of corn, wheat, soybeans and contract turkeys with Cooper Farms.
• John Bresler has decided to step down after five years of dedicated service to the Ohio FSA State Committee. The administration is currently looking for a fifth state committee member to fill his position.
“In Ohio, the State Committee has a tremendous responsibility to be accountable for the use of taxpayer dollars as our Agency allocated more than $325 million in federal farm program benefits to producers statewide in fiscal year 2013” said Maurer. “These appointed individuals have proven they can be both fair and effective in their service to Ohio farmers and landowners” Maurer said. Through the efficient and equitable administration of price support, conservation, disaster assistance and farm credit programs, FSA promotes and protects agricultural practices to ensure a safe, affordable, abundant and nutritious food supply for all consumers.
FARM LOAN YEAR-END REVIEWS
Producers who have a farm loan with FSA are reminded they must provide data for their Year-End Analysis (YEA) to their loan officer each year. Borrowers are urged to provide this information in a timely manner so their files can be maintained. The office will contact you for the data you will need to provide us.
OPERATING LOAN APPLICATIONS NEEDED NOW
Farmers who plan to apply to the Farm Service Agency for annual operating loan assistance this year are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The earlier an application for loan assistance is filed, the quicker the FSA staff can process your request. In addition, due to budget constraints, farmers who wait until later in the year to apply run the risk of finding out our funding allocations have been utilized already.
Decisions on loans cannot be made until a complete application is received. Farmers should also contact their local FSA office to set up an appointment with a Farm Loan Official for information as to what is required in order to have a complete loan application on file.