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Time to review payment eligibility for new crop year

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Jul 31, 2019 at 6:00 PM

All participants of FSA programs who request program benefits are required to submit a completed CCC-902 (Farming Operation Plan) and CCC-941 Average Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information to be considered for payment eligibility and payment limitation applicable for the program benefits. ‘

Participants are not required to annually submit new CCC-902s for payment eligibility and payment limitation purposes unless a change in the farming operation occurs that may affect the determination of record. A valid CCC-902 filed by the participant is considered to be a continuous certification used for all payment eligibility and payment limitation determinations applicable for the program benefits requested. Participants are responsible for ensuring that all CCC-902 and CCC-941 and related forms on file in the county Office are correct at all times. Participants are required to timely notify the county office of any changes in the farming operation that may affect the determination of record by filing a new or updated CCC-902 as applicable.

Changes that may require a NEW determination include, but are not limited to, a change of: Shares of a contract, which may reflect: A land lease from cash rent to share rent, A land lease from share rent to cash rent (subject to the cash rent tenant rule), A modification of a variable/fixed bushel-rent arrangement, The size of the producer’s farming operation by the addition or reduction of cropland that may affect the application of a cropland factor, The structure of the farming operation, including any change to a member’s share, the contribution of farm inputs of capital, land, equipment, active personal labor, and/or active personal management, farming interests not previously disclosed on CCC-902 including the farming interests of a spouse or minor child, financial status that may affect the three-year average for the determination of average AGI or other changes that affects eligibility under the average adjusted gross income limitations.

Participants are encouraged to file or review these forms within the deadlines established for each applicable program for which program benefits are being requested.

In other happenings ... 

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 projects to ensure the proposed actions meet compliance criteria, such as clearing 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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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, 2019. 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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