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FSA offers improved program to limit losses on forages

By Diana Strouse • Sep 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Reduced forage quality is now considered a production loss for weather disaster assistance coverage under the new buy-up provisions of the FSA Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).

This safety net is important for cattlemen who produce non-insurable forages for feeding livestock. Previously, FSA only considered a decrease in overall forage tonnage produced when determining if the producer suffered a compensable loss after a qualifying weather event.

Under FSA’s new NAP buy-up provisions, a decrease in forage quality – such as protein content – is also considered. To receive coverage for the 2018 crop year, producers must enroll their eligible forage in NAP by November 20, 2017.

Beginning, limited resource and targeted underserved farmers or producers are eligible for a waiver of the NAP service fee and a 50 percent premium reduction in buy-up provisions. For more information on NAP, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap.

In other news....

Adjusted gross income requirements: The average adjusted gross income (AGI) limitation for commodity and disaster programs under the 2014 Farm Bill was changed to a $900,000 limitation from all income sources. A person or legal entity, other than a joint venture or general partnership, is eligible to receive, directly or indirectly, certain program payments or benefits if the average adjusted gross income of the person or legal entity falls below the $900,000 threshold for the three taxable years preceding the most immediately preceding complete taxable year.

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FSA’S MPP annual coverage sign-up delayed — begins Sept. 1: The USDA National FSA has delayed the 2018 sign-up for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy Producers until September 1, 2017. By delaying the sign-up until Sept. 1, will allow County offices time to concentrate on acreage reporting, emergency grazing requests and Livestock Forage applications. For additional information or questions about the MPP Dairy Program contact the Huron/Erie County FSA office.

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Farm storage facility loans: FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment, storage and handling trucks. The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities.

Eligible commodities include corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, oats, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water).

Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for eligible commodities. Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security agreement and loans between $50,000 and $100,000 may require additional security. Loans exceeding $100,000 require additional security.

Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved producers. To learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan, contact your county FSA office.

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Update your records: FSA is cleaning up our producer record database. If you have any unreported changes of address or zip code or an incorrect name or business name on file they need to be reported to our office. Changes in your farm operation, like the addition of a farm by lease or purchase, need to be reported to our office as well. Producers participating in FSA and NRCS programs are required to timely report changes in their farming operation to the County Committee in writing and update their CCC-902 Farm Operating Plan. If you have any updates or corrections, please contact our office at your earliest convenience to update your records.

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Offices closed: Don’t forget, Labor Day is a federal holiday. All FSA offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4. We will resume our normal hours on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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Important dates:

Oct. 1 -- -- - Deadline to obtain 2018 NAP coverage for winter wheat, rye, barley and speltz.

Oct. 9 -- -- - Columbus Day holiday. FSA offices closed.

Nov. 6 -- -- County committee ballots mailed to voters.

Nov. 10 -- - Veterans Day holiday. FSA offices closed.

 

Diana Strouse is the county executive director for the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency. For more information, call the agency at 419-668-4113.

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