FAQ: We have to file our 2012 planted acreage report with FSA. They keep asking for more information each year. How important is it to be so detailed?
Answer: John Whitaker, state executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Iowa, reminds farmers that filing an accurate acreage report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting acreage, can prevent the loss of benefits for a variety of USDA farm programs.
Acreage reports are required for many Farm Service Agency programs. For crops enrolled in programs other than NAP (Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program), acreage reports are to be certified by the June 30, 2012 deadline on all crops. Acreage reports on crops covered by NAP are due in the county office by the earlier of June 30, 2012, or 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported.
"Many FSA programs require an accurate acreage report be filed for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting acreage, before program benefits can be paid," says Whitaker. "Filing an accurate report can also prevent the loss of benefits for a variety of other USDA programs. Crop reports are used for the basis of some programs' eligibility, such as the CRP."
Report planting dates for each crop and each field ASAP
Crop reports also include planting dates for each crop by field. Failed acreage must be reported before disposition of the crop. Prevented planting must be reported no later than 15 days after the final planting date.
Reporting forage crops and pastures is also required, says Whitaker. All crops on the farm, including forage crops and pasture are used to determine overall eligibility for some programs such as SURE and LFP, so accurately reporting these crops is important. Since the make-up of a forage crop's stand changes over time, the legumes and/or grass mixture may be needed or the age of the stand in order to file an accurate report.
The Iowa State FSA office in Des Moines issues guidance information to the county FSA office regarding the percent of alfalfa or other legume/grass that is present in the stand for producers to accurately report their crops. Another change you need to be award of: For 2013, perennial forage, fall planted wheat and other fall-seeded small grains will have a December 15 reporting date.
For more information on crop reporting or other programs administered by FSA, please contact your local FSA office or go on-line to www.fsa.usda.gov.