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AGRI-BUSINESS NEWS AND NOTES - Sodbusting a tricky subject

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:51 PM

The term "sodbusting" is used to identify the plowing up of erosion-prone grasslands for use as cropland.

Sodbuster violations are unauthorized tillage practices on highly erodible lands that converted native vegetation such as rangeland or woodland, to crop production after Dec. 23, 1985.

Farmers should be aware that if they use highly erodible land for crop production without proper conservation measures, they risk losing eligibility to participate in Farm Service Agency programs.

Before producers clear, plow or otherwise prepare areas not presently under crop production for planting, they are required to file an AD-1026, indicating the area to be brought into production.

If Natural Resources Conservation Service indicates on a CPA-026 that the area will be highly erodible land, the producer will be required to develop and implement a conservation plan on the affected acreage, before bringing land into production. In addition, producers and the producer's affiliates have to file an AD-1026 with the staff in the administrative or control county office before any farm program payments can be made. The AD-1026 is the producer's signed certification that HELC, as well as wetland conservation, provisions will not be violated.

Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:

Farm storage facility loans Low interest rate loans for storage facilities are available for producers to build or remodel farm storage facilities for a variety of commodities, including wheat, soybeans and corn. The seven-year Farm Storage Facility Loans are available for the purchase and installation of eligible storage facilities, permanently affixed drying or handling equipment, or remodeling existing facilities. Eligible facilities include new conventional-type cribs or bins and new and remanufactured oxygen-limiting and other upright silo-type structures. All farm storage facility loans are secured by a promissory note and security agreement. The maximum amount that may be borrowed is 85 percent of the net cost of the storage or handling equipment, up to $100,000 for each borrower. A minimum down payment is also required.

Maintaining stored grain quality Due to the recent high temperatures producers are reminded to keep an eye on the condition and quality of the stored grain.

Removing CCC loan collateral Producers are reminded, if you have grain under Commodity Credit Corporation loan it cannot be removed or disposed of without prior county office staff authorization or repayment. The county office staff may issue release authorizations based on a telephone or in person request when you are ready to move the grain. A loan violation is subject to monetary and administrative penalties, such as repaying the loan at principal plus interest, liquidated damages, calling the loan and denial of future farm-stored loans and loan deficiency payments. All commodity loans are subject to spot check. Locking in a market loan repayment rate is not a marketing authorization.

Haying, grazing CRP acres Producers considering haying or grazing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres need prior approval from the county committee. Before the committee can allow haying or grazing, there must be an approved modified conservation plan to include haying and grazing requirements. A 25 percent CRP payment reduction is assessed for every approved acre hayed or grazed. The county committee cannot authorize haying and grazing during the primary nesting and brood rearing season which is March 1-July 15. In addition, some mid-contract management practices may permit the use of prescribed haying and grazing.

Missed the DCP deadline? If you missed the Aug. 3 deadline to enroll in DCP for 2007, you have until Sept. 30 to do so. However, a late filing fee of $100 per farm will be assessed.

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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