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Deadline extended to report farm flood damage

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Jul 18, 2019 at 8:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline to file crop acreage reports for agricultural producers in Ohio impacted by flooding and heavy moisture.

The new July 22 deadline applies to reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices and federal crop insurance agents. Filing a timely crop acreage report is important to maintaining eligibility for USDA conservation, disaster assistance, safety net, crop insurance and farm loan programs. A crop acreage report documents all crops and their intended uses and is an important part of record-keeping for your farm or ranch. Producers filing reports with FSA county offices are encouraged to set up an appointment before visiting the office.

Acreage reports from producers in Ohio who set up appointments before the July 22 deadline are considered timely filed, even if the appointment occurs after the deadline.

In other news...

Nominations open for the 2019 county committee elections: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages all farmers and FSA program participants to take part in the Huron-Erie County Committee election nomination process. FSA’s county committees are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and local administration of federal farm programs. Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties. Committee members are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. If elected, members become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery process. A county committee is composed of three to 11 elected members from local administrative areas (LAA). Each member serves a three-year term. One-third of the seats on these committees are open for election each year.

County committees may have an appointed advisor to further represent the local interests of underserved farmers. Underserved producers are beginning, women and other minority farmers and landowners and/or operators who have limited resources. All nomination forms for the 2019 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA service center by Aug. 1. For more information on FSA county committee elections and appointments, refer to the FSA fact sheet: Eligibility to vote and hold office as a COC member available online at: fsa.usda.gov/elections.

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Proper management of CRP grass cover: In the past, aesthetic mowing of CRP grass cover was a widely accepted practice by many participants. Today with more research and understanding, it has been shown that properly managed grass cover will reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and is more beneficial to wildlife than annually mowed grass covers. Wildlife, especially grassland birds including pheasants and quail, and pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, view properly managed CRP cover as a source of food and habitat suitable to raise their young. Wildlife will not be attracted to CRP cover if plants are not allowed to mature. Game birds and bees are disappearing because of habitat loss. Properly managed grass cover does not include noxious weeds such as thistle and teasel or woody species like trees and multiflora rose. These noxious weeds must be controlled.

This can be done in several ways. Mowing of CRP cover, not to exceed 20 percent of the total CRP acres in a field, is permitted. This activity must be included in your conservation plan and be conducted outside of Ohio’s primary nesting season (March 1 though July 15). The location of this mowing shall be changed from year to year. Another option to control noxious weeds is by spot mowing affected areas or spot spraying of an approved herbicide. These treatments will have a minimal effect on the CRP practice cover’s ability to meet the purposes of erosion control, water quality and wildlife habitat.