The final date to certify wheat, oats, rye and barley was June 30.
If you did not certify by that day, or have an appointment established to do so, you will be assessed a late filing fee to certify your small grains. The basic fee for a measurement is $46. You will need to complete the late file form and pay the required fee. The county committee will then review your request and will determine whether to approve or disapprove the application. In most cases the county committee will approve your request, but had you done this by the deadline you would not have had to spend money unnecessarily. Filing your certification before, or by, the deadline is free. The next deadline you need to be aware of is for certifying corn, soybeans, all vegetables, forage crops and CRP land. You have until July 15 to certify these crops for 2007 without being charged a late filing fee. Payments for most programs including final DCP, Loans, and CRP cannot be issued until your certification is on file. The office is almost booked through the deadline, but if you call the office and establish an appointment, even if that appointment is after the final date to certify you will be considered to have filed timely.
Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:
DCP deadline Aug. 3 If you have not started the process of signing into the Direct and Counter Cyclical Program for 2007 time is running out. For 2007, the deadline was extended due to computer problems experienced by the agency. Even with that extension, we have many farms that could be enrolled in the program that have not been.
If you have a base on your farm, even if it is just a few acres, and the land could be farmed, you could sign into the program and receive payments. To receive payment from USDA you would need to meet all standard eligibility criteria and have all necessary forms on file. If you cash rent some of the land you operate you would need a cash rent statement from your owner or a copy of your cash lease, or the owner's signature on your contract.
Once you have all the necessary forms in place and your contract is approved you will receive your advance payment which is 22 percent of the total payment you are due for the year.
In October, final payments are issued for the balance of your payment which is 78 percent of the total payment. We have a great number of operators or owners who have started the process of signing into the program but for whatever reason have not completed it. We have many contracts that were initiated but the necessary supporting documents have not been supplied so the contracts are still waiting to be approved.
Don't miss your opportunity to participate in the DCP program for 2007. If you have started your contract please make an appointment to bring your paperwork to the office so your contract can be finalized. If you have not started the process the time to do so is now. If you have changes that need to be made, perhaps a recon that needs to be done, we need to get busy and get your farm records in order.
The last day to request a recon is Aug. 1.
Harvest safely With the wheat harvest in full swing be sure to make safety a number one priority. In our haste to get the harvest completed along with everything else there is to do, we sometimes do not get adequate sleep, or always take the time to do everything the right way. Lack of sleep and cutting corners are an accident waiting to happen. Protect yourself, your family and others working with you.
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.