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Don't forget to update your farming records

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Mar 29, 2019 at 8:00 AM

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.

In other news...

Breaking new ground: Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with FSA and NRCS before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing so without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm program benefits in jeopardy. This is especially true for land that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions. Producers with HEL determined soils are required to apply tillage, crop residue and rotational requirements as specified in their conservation plan. Producers should notify FSA as a first point of contact prior to conducting land clearing or drainage type projects to ensure the proposed actions meet compliance criteria, such as clearing any trees to create new cropland. These areas may need to be reviewed to ensure such work will not risk your eligibility for benefits. Landowners and operators complete the form AD-1026 - Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification to identify the proposed action and allow FSA to determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for further review is necessary.

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Communication is key in lending: Farm Service Agency (FSA) is committed to providing our farm loan borrowers the tools necessary to be a success. A part of ensuring this success is providing guidance and counsel from the loan application process through the borrower’s graduation to commercial lending institutions. While it is FSA’s commitment to advise borrowers as they identify goals and evaluate progress, it is crucial for borrowers to communicate with their farm loan staff when changes occur. It is the borrower’s responsibility to alert FSA to any of the following: Any proposed or significant changes in the farming operation; Any significant changes to family income or expenses; The development of problem situations; Any losses or proposed significant changes in security. In addition, if a farm loan borrower cannot make payments to suppliers, other creditors, or FSA on time, contact your farm loan staff immediately to discuss loan servicing options.

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Farm reconstitutions: When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution — or recon — is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation. To be effective for the current fiscal year (FY), farm combinations and farm divisions must be requested by Aug. 1 of the FY for farms subject to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. A reconstitution is considered to be requested when all: of the required signatures are on FSA-155, other applicable documentation, such as proof of ownership, is submitted. Total Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and non-ARC/PLC farms may be reconstituted at any time.

The following are the different methods used when doing a farm recon: Estate Method — the division of bases, allotments and quotas for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate; Designation of Landowner Method — may be used when (1) part of a farm is sold or ownership is transferred; (2) an entire farm is sold to two or more persons; (3) farm ownership is transferred to two or more persons; (4) part of a tract is sold or ownership is transferred; (5) a tract is sold to two or more persons; or (6) tract ownership is transferred to two or more persons.

In order to use this method the land sold must have been owned for at least three years, or a waiver granted, and the buyer and seller must sign a memorandum of understanding.

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