It is hard to believe but it is time to start thinking about the annual election for a member of the Huron and Erie County FSA Committee.
The person elected to this position will serve a three-year term beginning in on Jan. 1. This is an important time for LAA communities, because county committee members make decisions that have significant effect on you and the area's agricultural sector as a whole.
For example, committee members make decisions on applications for federal farm program and disaster payments. Committee members play a vital role by helping local farmers and ranchers manage tough financial times and natural disasters. County committee members make many other important decisions that affect local farmers and ranchers as well.
The county committee has the responsibility of overseeing all operations of your county FSA office. If you are interested in serving, talk to a current county committee member or the county executive director for details on the types of decisions county committee members make. To hold office as a county committee member, a person must meet basic eligibility requirements.
Contact the Huron or the Erie County office staff for details about candidate eligibility and to receive a nomination form for yourself or others. The nomination period runs from June 15 through Aug. 1.
Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:
State rental rates The Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices are currently reviewing soil rental rates to determine the maximum payment rate for CRP annual payments. This is to guarantee the CRP rental rates are set at market levels to ensure program operations do not distort local rental markets, program costs are minimized, and program benefits are achieved. As a result a large majority of State Rental Rates may be adjusted up as a result of this review process. Producers should consider these soil rental rate changes before agreeing to terms of new contracts. New Soil Rental Rates that are established will be applicable to new contracts only.
Seeding deadline extended CRP participants will have more time this year to plant warm season grasses. The 2007 seeding deadline has been extended until June 15 for warm season grasses. For warm season grass seedings to be successful they must be installed by the final planting date established by the state. Due to weather conditions this year it has been determined that extending the date is appropriate. If you have a seeding scheduled for this spring be sure to return the necessary completed paperwork to the FSA Office as soon as you complete your practice.
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. Remember to contact your local FSA office if you notice changes in the condition and quality of the stored grain. Producers are responsible for maintaining the quality as well as the quantity of their grain throughout the life of the loan.
Beginning farmers and ranchers If you are a farmer or rancher who has participated in a farming operation for at least three but no more than 10 years, you may qualify for beginning farmer targeted loan funds with Farm Service Agency. The program is designed to assist these farmers by providing direct and guaranteed loans when they are unable to obtain financing from commercial credit sources.
Preventing fraud and waste The Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency are partners in preventing fraud, waste and abuse in the Federal Crop Insurance Program. FSA has been, and will continue to, assist RMA and insurance providers by monitoring crop conditions throughout the growing season. In addition, FSA will refer all suspected cases of fraud, waste and abuse to RMA. Producers can report suspected cases to FSA or RMA.
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.