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Tell FSA about bad weather within 15 days

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:13 PM

When bad weather prevents planting or damages crops, producers should report the acreage to their local FSA office within 15 days of the final planting date of the crop. That’s the reminder given by John Stevenson, Ohio State executive director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

This applies to all crops, whether covered by crop insurance, not covered by insurance, or covered by FSA’s Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP). Final planting dates vary among counties and crop types. Producers who have their crops insured through a private crop insurance company should contact the insurance agent immediately and advise them of the damaged crops. Additionally, a CCC-576, Notice of Loss Application, must be completed in person at your local FSA office, and your prevented and/or failed acres reported. For those crops covered under FSA’s NAP, producers should immediately contact their local FSA office to report the acres and file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss Application. “Producers with NAP coverage should report their losses within 15 calendar days of crop damage from natural disaster, so the loss can be appraised and production counted before the crop is put into another use, abandoned or destroyed,” said Stevenson. Crops not covered with a private insurance or NAP policy should still be reported to the local FSA office, and producers should file a Notice of Loss Application. This will provide FSA with a historical record of your crop should disaster assistance become available.

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

n Rural youth loans — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes operating loans to individual rural youths age 10 through 20 to establish and operate income producing agricultural related projects. These projects must be of modest size and be initiated, developed, carried out by rural youths participating in 4-H clubs, FFA, or a similar organization or with a vocational teacher or county extension agent. The project must be an organized and supervised program of work. It must be planned and operated with the assistance of the organization advisor, produce sufficient income to repay the loan, and provide the youth with practical business and educational experience in agriculture related skills. Contact your local FSA office for more details.

n 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.

n Extension to farm bill approved — USDA announced that the President signed a one week extension to the 2002 Farm Bill on April 18. This extension expired on Friday. It is unknown if another temporary extension will be granted at that time. At this point we continue to wait for word on a farm program for the 2008 crop year. There has been no indication on if or when a program will be put into place for the 2008 year.

n FSA signature requirements — Proper signatures on Farm Service Agency contracts, applications and forms must be submitted before the document will be considered as filed. All entities, including revocable and irrevocable trusts, corporations, partnerships, estates, etc., must provide evidence of signature authority stipulating those individuals who are authorized to represent the entity. FSA cannot accept signatures without such documentation on file. Examples of acceptable evidence include trust agreements, corporate charters or resolutions, partnership agreements and court orders of appointment. Spouses can sign for one another on most program documents unless written notification denying a spouse this authority has been provided to the county office staff. An FSA-211 may be filed to delegate signature authority for FSA program purposes to another individual.

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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