FAQ: Farmers need to certify their 2011 planted acres with the local FSA office before June 30. What information do I need to bring with me when I go to the county office? Are there any new rules or requirements this year?
Answer: Provided by Beth Grabau, public relations and outreach specialist at the USDA Farm Service Agency state office in Des Moines. Kevin McClure, program specialist at the Iowa FSA office, also helped answer these questions.
Be sure to certify your 2011 planted acres with your local USDA Farm Service Agency office, and do it now or as soon as possible. The deadline is June 30. These are busy days for farmers but they really do need to go to the local FSA office and report their 2011 planted acreage.
Make sure you know the planting date, what crop is planted in each field and number of acres planted. Something new for 2011 is the requirement for certification of forage crops. As always, if you have questions about farm programs, contact your local FSA office. Information is also available at www.fsa.usda.gov.
Question: Why is it important to report 2011 planted acres to FSA before June 30? What programs are affected?
Answer: Crop reporting is needed to meet FSA program eligibility requirements. Producers must file their reports accurately and timely for all crops and land uses, including prevented and failed acreage, to ensure they receive the maximum FSA program benefits possible. For Iowa, the final reporting date for most crops is June 30.
For those producers who were prevented from planting, these reports must be filed within 15 calendar days after the final planting date, which is May 31 for corn and June 15 for soybeans. Failed acreage must be reported before the disposition of the crop. Crops under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) which are harvested prior to June 30 must report by the earlier of June 30, 2011 or 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing.
NAP provides coverage for crops for which at least the catastrophic level of crop insurance is not available. Producers should contact their county FSA office if they are uncertain about reporting deadlines as the dates do vary depending on the crop.
Accurate acreage reports are necessary to determine and maintain eligibility for the following programs, but are not limited to, the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Price Support programs, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, and newer programs authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. That includes the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE), Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Tree Assistance Program (TAP), and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm Raised Fish Program (ELAP).
Question: It seems every year when I go into the county office, they want more information than the year before. How accurate do I need to be with planted acreage reporting? What do I need to bring with me when I go to the FSA office to certify my 2011 planted acres?
Answer: Crop reporting is getting more detailed and FSA county offices are asking for more information than they may have in the past. Farmers need to be very accurate as future payments could be based on the number of acres reported and other information provided. FSA has many new programs that require timely, accurate information.
This year, information is being collected on hay and forage, which wasn't done in the past. To ensure accuracy, producers should bring with them planting dates, not only on their traditional crops such as corn and soybeans, but also on hay and forage. Many of these seedings could be several years old.
For forage crops, your information as to the types of legumes and/or grass mixture may be needed. County offices may want the percent of alfalfa that is present in the stand, which is consistent with requirements with crop insurance policies. Before going to your local office, remember to find out and know acreages if fields are subdivided, as well as planting dates on all crops. You could also be asked what the intended use for the crop is. In other words, will the crop be used for grain, silage, hay, grazing, etc.
Question: I didn't sign up for the farm program for 2011. I wasn't going to certify my planted acreage this year but everyone tells me it's still important. Now I don't think I can make the June 30 deadline to certify, what then?
Answer: It is important that acreage information is reported accurately and timely to prevent the loss of benefits. Not reporting your crops could affect future eligibility.
Many of the FSA disaster program applications are processed and carried out a considerable time after the end of the crop year that was affected by the disaster. Other FSA programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program, use past cropping history to determine eligibility. Timely crop reporting is needed to establish eligibility of the crop and the producer for many of the benefits previously listed.
If you missed Iowa's June 30 deadline, late-filed provisions may be available to producers who are unable to meet the reporting deadline as required. Reports filed after the established deadline must meet certain requirements to be accepted and may be charged late fees. The minimum late-filing fee assessed is $46 per FSA farm number.
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
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