Notes for Huron, Erie county farmers

Register
Jan 6, 2014
SOURCE WATER PROTECTION WORKSHOP
On Dec. 10, 2013, a workshop was held to discuss ways in which water quality could be improved in our area by using resources already available. With Huron and Erie’s close proximity to Lake Erie, the group is hoping to find ways water quality can be improved for all residents by working together.

The group agreed the problems in our area come from many sources such as septic systems, nutrient and pesticide runoff, animal waste, etc. By working together and pooling all of our resources, it is our hope we can make a vast improvement in this situation.

Once FSA is again authorized to fund the Conservation Reserve Program, particularly the Lake Erie Conservation Enhancement Program, we have many practices producers can implement to reduce our contribution to this problem. As soon as we receive the approval to again offer CREP we would be happy to talk to you about any practices you are interested in installing such as filter strips and riparian buffers that will help our water quality. Cost share is available for these practices, which will ultimately result in your out-of-pocket expense being approximately 10 percent of the cost of installation. In addition, you will receive annual rental payments for the land you enroll. As soon as we have authority to precede with the CREP programs, we will announce it here. If you have any questions, feel free to give our office a call. Water quality is a subject that is important to all of us today and for the future of us all.

2014 ACREAGE REPORTING DATES
Producers now have until Jan. 15 to report crops that have a Dec. 16, 2013, reporting deadline without paying a late-file fee. Crops under this waiver include wheat and native and improved grasses intended for grazing or haying. The Risk Management Agency did not grant a waiver so producers need to consult their crop insurance agent for deadlines for insured crops.

In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit your local county FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline. The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Huron/Erie County: q#Dec. 16, 2013 — Fall barley, fall wheat, and all other Fall-Seeded Small Grains. q#Jan. 2, 2014 — Report honey and maple sap. q#Jan.15, 2014 — Apples, grapes. q#May 31, 2014 — Report Nursery Crop Acreage. q#July 15, 2014 — Report all your burley tobacco, cabbage (planted 3/19/14-5/31/14), corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets, tomatoes and all other crops. q#Aug. 15, 2014 — Report cabbage (Planted 6/1/14-7/20/14). q#Sept. 30, 2014 — Report aquaculture. q#Dec. 15, 2014 — Fall barley, fall wheat, and all other fall-seeded small grains.

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

• If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

• If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendar days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

• If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only” “green manure” “left standing” or “seed” then the acreage must be reported by July 15.

• Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the Huron/Erie County FSA office at 419-668-4113.

The information above would be a good reference to file a way to avoid late filing fees.

MAINTAINING CRP PRACTICE COVERS
The USDA Farm Service Agency is committed to partnering with landowners and producers to create the most beneficial conservation practices in Ohio. Properly established and maintained CRP practice cover not only promotes wildlife, it helps prevent erosion and enhances water quality. CRP participants follow a set of standards to establish and manage their conservation cover throughout the length of the 10- 15-year contract. Properly maintaining CRP practice covers will allow landowners to survey their CRP practice cover and be aware of any potential problems.

These requirements go beyond planting the practice acres and walking away or mowing the cover every year for cosmetic purposes. CRP participants must follow the terms and conditions of the CRP-1 contract and support documents, including the Conservation Plan of Operations. The CPO is a record of the participant’s decisions and contains all practices necessary for the successful establishment, maintenance and management of the vegetative cover on all acres enrolled in CRP.

Participants should refer to their completed conservation plan and NRCS Job Sheets provided during the development of the conservation plan for guidance and contact the Blank County FSA office for further information or questions.

CRP participants are reminded to schedule maintenance and management activities on CRP acres outside of the primary nesting season. Cost-share documents along with detailed bills are to be submitted to the FSA office after the activity has been completed. Mid-contract management activities are required, and failure to perform them on a timely basis will result in a determination of noncompliance. Landowners and farmers who need more information should contact their local FSA office.