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Assistance available for farmers

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Eligible farmers who suffered quantity losses to their crops in recent years can enroll in the Crop Disaster Program 2005-2007 (CDP) at the FSA Service Center.

FSA will announce and conduct sign-up for quality losses under CDP as soon as possible. It is anticipated that quality sign up for quality losses will begin sometime after the first of the year.

Certain crop producers suffered major financial losses as the result of a natural disaster during the last couple of years. Subject to final rules for the program, CDP provides benefits to farmers who suffered losses to the 2005-2007 crops from natural disasters and related conditions so long as the actual crop lost was planted or prevented from being planted before Feb. 28.

Producers who incurred qualifying losses due to a documented disaster event in 2005, 2006 or 2007 must choose only one year to receive benefits.

Producers may apply for benefits for losses to multiple crops as long as the losses occurred in the same crop year. For multi-county producers the same year must be used in each county where application is made. Only producers who obtained crop insurance coverage or coverage under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for the year of loss will be eligible for CDP benefits. Producers must have suffered quantity losses in excess of 35 percent to be eligible for CDP. The payment rate is set at 42 percent of the established price.

Assistance, together with any crop insurance or NAP payment received for the same crop and including the value of the crop production not lost, must not exceed 95 percent of the total value of the crop absent the disaster. FSA offices may accept information from producers about quality losses when producers submit applications for quantity losses.

However, FSA will only consider quality loss applications complete after FSA announces the quality loss sign-up date and all other information necessary to determine eligibility is received by FSA. Also, FSA will not consider applications completed for any loss, including quantity losses, until a final rule has been issued for this program.

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

Farm loan year end reviews Producers that have a farm loan with FSA are reminded they must provide data for their Year-End Analysis (YEA) to their loan officer each year. Borrowers are urged to provide this information timely so that their files can be maintained. The office will contact you for the data you will need to provide us.

Loan assistance applications Farmers and producers that intend to apply to the Farm Service Agency for loan assistance for the upcoming crop year are encouraged to file their applications as early as possible. Filing early will help ensure that your loan is processed and approved as early as possible so that planting decisions can be made. Failure to apply early can result in a delay in processing loans due to the volume of applications that must be processed in date order.

Operating loan applications Farmers that plan to apply to the Farm Service Agency for annual operating loan assistance this year are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The earlier an application for loan assistance is filed, the quicker the FSA staff can process your request. In addition, due to budget constraints, farmers that wait until later in the year to apply, often run the risk of finding out that our funding allocations have been utilized already. Farmers should also contact their local FSA office to set up an appointment with a farm loan official for information as to what is required in order to have a complete loan application on file. Decisions on loans cannot be made until a complete application is received.

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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