Before you begin any project on your farm that involves disturbing the soil be sure you visit the FSA Office and request a AD-1026.
Whether you are installing a new tile system, or repairing an existing one, any time you are manipulating the soil you want to be sure NRCS has given their approval to what you plan to do.
FSA will take the information on the 1026 and pass the form along to NRCS along with maps of the area so they can determine if the project you wish to do is appropriate on your land or if there are any special requirements you need to be aware of before you proceed. Never clear any land until you have requested and received a determination. If the land you are clearing turns out to be a wetlands you will not be in compliance and will make yourself ineligible to receive benefits from USDA under any program no matter which agency manages the program.
Once you have submitted your request for a determination, NRCS has sixty days to actually make a determination and provide you with their findings. It is not prudent to begin any work until you have that written determination in hand. If a producer is participating in DCP, CRP, commodity loans, etc., loss of these benefits due to a compliance violation can be very costly.
It is best to be safe rather than sorry.
Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:
2007 DCP ends — Hopefully, everyone has submitted all the necessary documents they needed to finalize their 2007 Direct and Counter Cyclical Contract. This was the last year for the DCP program which came about due to the last Farm Bill. At this point there is not a new farm bill in place. Sign up for the program usually begins on October 1st. However, until a new farm bill including a program such as the current DCP are passed and put into place, or the current Farm Bill is extended, we will not be signing producers into a program for the 2008 crop year.
Final payments for DCP — Final payments for the DCP program are issued in October. The county office will be notified when they may begin the process of issuing program payments. If you are enrolled in the DCP program and did not opt to take the 22 percent advance when you signed in you will receive your entire payment for 2007 when final payments are authorized. If you took the advance when you signed in you can expect to receive the remaining 78 percent due you on your final payment for 2007. The direct payment for a crop equals 85 percent of the farm’s base acreage times the farm’s direct payment yield times the direct payment rate. If any unearned advance counter-cyclical payments were issued to you, Commodity Credit Corporation will automatically subtract those amounts from the final Direct and Counter-cyclical Program payments the producer(s) will receive. Your local offices will make issuing DCP payments a priority as soon as we receive permission to begin the payment process.
CRP annual rental payments — CRP annual rental payments are usually issued to producers the first full week of October. If you have not updated your payment limitation eligibility forms your payment can not be issued.
Banking changes? — If you have changed banks and not notified FSA, your payment could be delayed. Payments are electronically transferred into your bank account, if we are not aware of changes to your account and routing numbers, there could be problems. In order to make timely payments, you need to notify the office if you close your account or if another financial institution purchases your bank. It is important that any changes in producer’s account such as type account, bank mergers, routing number or account numbers, be provided to the county office promptly to avoid possible payment delay.
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.