Answer: Provided by Vickie Friedow, state conservation and compliance program specialist for USDA's Farm Service Agency office in Des Moines.
Farmers must certify their planted acres and land uses, including failed and prevented acreage, for 2010 at the local Farm Service Agency office by June 30 in order to meet FSA program eligibility requirements.
USDA farm programs requiring acreage certification are Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP), Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL), Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP), Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP), Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Tree Assistance Program (TAP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm Raised Fish Program (ELAP).
Prevented acreage must be reported within 15 calendar days after final planting date. Failed acreage must be reported before the disposition of the crop. Contact your county FSA office if you are uncertain about reporting deadlines. Reports filed after June 30 must meet certain requirements to be accepted and may be charged late fees.
Question: How important is it to certify my 2010 planted acres with the local FSA office? Should I go into the office now or is this something that can be done quickly on June 29?
Answer: It is important to certify your acres and land uses if you participate in FSA farm programs. Check with your FSA county office to see if appointments are taken for crop certification. If an appointment is necessary, please schedule a time when planting is completed for all crops on your farm, and prior to June 30.
If appointments aren't necessary in your FSA county office, it may be helpful to call ahead so maps can be prepared in advance of your arrival. Crop certification requires a "planting date" to be entered for each crop, so you having that information readily available will be helpful.
If you have specific questions or need details regarding USDA farm programs, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. You can also get news and information about DCP, ACRE and other USDA programs at www.fsa.usda.gov.
Two Iowa State University Extension Web sites have farm program information and analysis. They are ISU's Ag Decision Maker site at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension Specialist Steve Johnson's site at www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm.
And be sure to read the regular column "Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Program" that appears in each issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine and at www.WallacesFarmer.com