Producers have until Aug. 3, 2007 to enroll in the 2007 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP).
Computer problems have caused application processing delays which prompted the enrollment deadline extension for 2007. The late-file fee of $100 will only be assessed for farms that are enrolled after Aug. 3, 2007 and before Sept. 30, 2007. Advance direct payments for the 2007 crop year are 22 percent. Advance payments may be requested in any month starting with December 2006. The remaining final direct payment of 78 percent will be issued to participating producers in October of 2007. Contact your local FSA office to setup an appointment today.
Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:
Crop certification The annual requirement of reporting to the FSA office can be referred to as crop reporting, acreage reporting, or crop certification. Filing an accurate and timely report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, can prevent loss of benefits for a variety of Farm Service Agency programs. All cropland on the farm must be reported to receive benefits from the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP), Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs).
Producers were required to file an FSA-578, Report of Acreage, certification for the farm by the June 30 deadline for small grains and by July 15 for all other crops except small grains. Conservation Reserve Program acreage must be reported to receive annual rental payments. And, crop acreage for Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) must also be reported. Acreage reports on crops are due in the county office by the earlier of June 30 for small grains and July 15 for all other crops. Since the deadline to certify small grains has passed, if you have not certified your small grain crops by now, you will need to pay a minimum late filing fee of $46 per farm to do so. Since the July 15 deadline falls on a Sunday you will have until July 16 to establish your appointment with our office to certify your crops. Avoid late filing fees. Call our office immediately.
Farm reconstitutions In farm service agency terms, farms are constituted to group all tracts having the same owner and the
same operator under one farm serial number. When changes in ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution (recon) is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation. Remember, to be effective for the current year, recons must be requested by Aug. 1, 2007 for farms enrolled in the direct and counter-cyclical payment program. If 2007 DCP direct payments have already been issued on the farm, the reconstitution will be effective for 2008 unless the payments are refunded.
COC candidates sought It will soon be county committee election time, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is actively looking for producers to be candidates for the local FSA county committee. Your county committee members perform an important function.
They represent you and your agricultural interests. They help shape how federal farm programs from Washington are implemented on the ground in local communities. Do you know someone that would make a good county committee member? How about someone that would be able to represent you and your farming interests, as well as your neighbor's interests?
Why not talk to that person and ask if he or she would be willing to serve on the county committee? If he or she says yes, then have the individual fill out a nomination form (FSA-669), sign it and return it to the county office. The county office will be glad to send the form to you. Can't think of another producer to nominate or your prospective nominee turns you down, why not nominate yourself? Serving on the committee will take, on average, one half a day a month, and you will be able to provide your agricultural community a vital service. Committee members are reimbursed for travel expenses and are paid for the time they serve.
Voting will take place in December and the new member to the committee will take his or her seat on Jan. 1, 2008. Visit with your local Farm Service Agency county office staff for more information about this year's county committee election.
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.