We are very pleased to announce that the restrictions on the use of the various USDA program Web sites have been lifted. However, this does not mean that our problems are over.
The restrictions were lifted due to the fact that the limited access of the Web, by the entire country, has not provided any answers to what is causing the issues. For this reason we can again schedule appointments throughout the day, not just the morning hours. If we have scheduled you an appointment but find we are having trouble accessing the Web sites that day we will try to contact you and reschedule your appointment before you make the trip to the office.
If you want to be sure we are up and running, feel free to give us a call before you come in for your appointment.
Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:
Farmer's choice of administrative county: Until recently the County Administrative office for program participants was basically the county office located in the county in which the principal farm operator resided. Now a change in a farm's administrative county may be permitted without completing a farm combination in the receiving county, if the producer documents that the changed administrative county office is "significantly" more convenient. Changing an administrative county office because of convenience is a one time selection (for the current operator) and will not be used to evade program rules. All FSA Offices follow the same provisions and handbooks in administering the USDA program. The new administrative county must be contiguous to the county where the farm is located. Those who use the convenience method will vote for county committee candidates running for county committee in their new administrative office; however they will not be permitted to be a candidate for the county FSA committee. A farm transfer can be initiated by the farm's operator or owner or the receiving or transferring county committee. All owners and operator must sign a FSA-179, transfer of farm records between counties. The transfer must be approved by both the transferring and the receiving county committee.
NAP coverage deadline: March 15 is the last day for producers to apply for Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage using Form CCC-471, Application for Coverage, and pay the service fee at the county office. The application and service fee must be filed by March 15 the deadline date for 2007 spring planted crops which include: forage sorghum, oats, potatoes, soybeans, sunflowers and all spring planted specialty crops grown for food. The service fee is $100 per crop per county. If you are insuring multiple crops you will only be charged for the first three, or $300 per producer per county. The fee cannot exceed a total of $900 per producer with farming interest in multiple counties.
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.