USDA Extends Deadline to Report Planted Acres

Instead of June 30 farmers have until Aug. 15 to report 2008 planted acreage to county FSA offices.

As planting, replanting, prevented planting and wet weather problems continue throughout the state, Iowa farmers are being reminded to report their 2008 planted crop acreage to the local USDA Farm Service Agency office.

"You should report your 2008 acreage of planted crops to your local FSA office as you complete planting, or no later than the final reporting deadline of August 15," says Derryl McLaren, state executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Iowa. He announced last Friday that the deadline for reporting planted acreage has been extended from June 30 to August 15 by USDA. That provision will also extend the deadline to report "prevented planting" acres to your county FSA office.

"So, to complete the FSA 576 form for planted acreage the deadline is August 15. Of course, you can come in before that date and report your planted acres and we encourage you to do that," says McLaren. "The fee for filing has been waived, unless you file the report after the August 15 deadline. But there is no reason to wait to file once you've completed planting. Farmers can come in and report their planted acreage anytime now."

Report acreage when you complete planting

Acreage reports for all cropland on a farm are required if you participate in the USDA's Direct and Counter-cyclical Program, or DCP, or if you want to apply for commodity loans and loan deficiency payments. Acreage reports are also required for the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, or NAP, for which benefits will be requested.

Farmers with these crops and land uses should contact their local FSA office at their earliest convenience after completion of planting to make arrangements to report their 2008 planted crop acreage. Timely reporting is necessary to determine and maintain eligibility for USDA program benefits. Farmers who file after August 15, 2008 will be subject to the late filing fee.

The county FSA office can accept crop acreage reports from the farm operator, farm owner, a person authorized by power of attorney or tenants. "With respect to tenants we can accept reports only for crop acreage for which the person has a share," he says.

Prevented planting acres must be reported

For CRP, acreage reports can be accepted from the landowner on the CRP, operator on the CRP or person authorized by power of attorney.

"Farmers with crops that do not fall into any of the above situations who wish to maintain an official record of their crop acreage with FSA should also report their acreage by the August 15 deadline at no cost," says McLaren. "If you need more information or need to set up an appointment, contact your FSA office."

Iowa farmers have experienced many unfortunate planting circumstances in 2008. Prevented planting, replanting, storms and flooded fields have had a big impact and conditions vary greatly around the state. Like the crop acreage reports, prevented planting and failed acreage reports filed at the FSA offices by August 15 will not be assessed the late-filing fees, he adds.

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