Next time you visit the Huron/Erie FSA Office you will notice a new face in the crowd. Theresa Fisher is our new intermittent PT. Theresa has a farming background and excellent office skills. She will be assisting us with certification and other activities for as long as our funds permit.
WHEN WEATHER PREVENTS OR DAMAGES CROPS
When bad weather prevents planting or damages crops, the Farm Service Agency would like to remind producers to report the acreage to the FSA office within 15 days of the final planting date of the crop. This applies to all crops, whether covered by crop insurance, not covered by insurance, or covered by FSA’s Non-insured Assistance Program. Final planting dates vary amongcounties and crop types.
Producers who have their crops insured through a private crop insurance company should contact the insurance agent immediately and advise them of the damaged crops. Additionally, a CCC-576, Notice of Loss Application, must be completed in person at the FSA office, and the prevented and/or failed acres reported. For those crops covered under FSA’s NAP, producers should immediately contact the FSA office to report the acres and file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss Application. Producers with NAP coverage should report their losses within 15 calendar days of crop damage from natural disaster, so the loss can be appraised and production counted before the crop is put into another use, abandoned or destroyed.
Crops not covered with a private insurance or NAP policy should still be reported to the local FSA office. This will provide FSA with a historical record of your crop should disaster assistance become available.
For more information about reporting prevented planting or failed acres, contact or stop into your local FSA office.
If you lost fruit trees, Christmas trees or grapevines due to the harsh winter, the Tree Assistance Program may be able to help you. Producers are provided with assistance to rehabilitate or replant trees that were killed by the adverse winter weather.
If you plan to apply for TAP, you need to do so prior to removing trees. Producers will need to be able to provide evidence the trees were in existence during the winter weather and were “totally” dead to the roots when removed. Producers can use pictures, provide receipts or any other documentation that will verify the tree or vine loss. OSU is willing to conduct site visits to verify the status of the trees as time permits, if requested by the producer.
If a producer chooses to try and rehabilitate the damaged trees, he/she cannot come back at a later date and claim the tree had died and request payment. This is due to the fact benefits were already paid on that tree to rehabilitate and the damage was caused by the same weather event making it ineligible for additional funds. Payments are calculated after reducing the producers loss for the normal mortality rate and the mortality rate for your specific species.
If you have any questions about the TAP program feel free to contact us.
CONTINUOUS CRP AND CREP ARE NOW AVAILABLE
The FSA has been informed we are now back in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program business. If you are interested in installing a grassed waterway this fall, contact our office so we can get the process started. Once the initial paperwork is in place, we will refer your request to NRCS for them to make a determination of need for the practice. If there is a resource concern that would be corrected by a waterway and the practice is feasible as requested, NRCS will work with you to start the process of creating plans for your project. Once the conservation plan, design and all FSA paperwork is in place, you are ready to install your waterway. Under the CCRP program we can assist you by providing cost share of up to 50 percent of the total eligible cost of installing your practice. In addition, you will earn a 40 percent practice incentive payment that means your out of pocket cost to improve your land will equal approximately 10 percent.
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is also available. Under this program there is a wide variety of practices including grass filter strips, riparian buffers, etc. to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. The same incentives apply for the CREP program, in addition the rental rate for CREP practices is enhanced, making this a very lucrative program for producers who wish to improve the environment for everyone. If you are thinking about doing any type of conservation practice on your farm, come see us first. Perhaps we can help you get your practice in place and save you the majority of the cost to install. To be eligible for CRP you must have owned the land for one year, produced row crops or hay in an approved rotation four out of six years from 2008 to 2013.
CRP/CREP contracts are for 10 or more years depending on the practice and program you select. Annual rental rates are paid each year of the contract in October.
For more information, give Bev a call at our office.
There will be no general CRP signup in 2014. Only expiring contracts that have been in the program for less than 15 years will be eligible for a one-year extension. Kansas City has sent all producers with contracts expiring Sept. 30, 2014, a notification letter. Please contact our office after you receive that letter so we can provide you with the options available to you. If your contract under Continuous CRP is expiring Sept. 30, 2014, you have the opportunity to offer the area or any portion of the acres under the expiring contract for re-enrollment.
New contracts or re-enrolling contracts can be requested at this time. Beginning in 2015, producers with certain contracts that have been in a CRP program for at least five years can request early outs. At this time we do not know the start and end dates for requesting the opt-out option. The practices eligible for early outs includes: CP1, CP2, CP3, CP10 or CP11 only. No other practices are eligible for early out at this time. If a food plot is associated with an eligible practice, the food plot is not eligible for early out. We will continue to provide more information on the early out option as it becomes available.
Soil rental rates will not change for 2014. We will again offer the Transition Incentives Program. Under this program a retiring or retired owner can transfer land enrolled in an expiring CRP contract that will be returned to production or sustainable grazing to an SDA, Beginning Farmer, or a Veteran. The program offers an additional two years of rental payments to the owner or operator. Transition cannot be to a family member and all provisions of this program must be met.
INTERESTED IN SERVING?
If you are interested in serving your peers on your local FSA committee, now is the time. Give our office a call to find out how the election works and what the duties of a county committee entail. Nominating petitions are now being accepted. We will be glad to send you one for yourself or your favorite candidate.