If you are a participant in the Conservation Reserve Program your annual rental payment is issued in October of each year.
In order to receive your payment it is necessary for you to update your payment eligibility records with our office. This is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. We review your farming operation and make any changes that are required. For instance, if you are being paid as an individual but have recently created a trust for yourself we need to update your eligibility records and your contract. If you are now a trust we need to do new payment limitation forms and a successor in interest on your contract to correct our records and clarify how the payment is to be disbursed. There are several other forms that we review just to be sure our records are accurate. Once this process is complete and all information is entered into our system you are ready for your payment. To avoid delays it is important that we review your records and make any corrections by the end of September.
Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:
Planning to sell your CRP land? If you are planning to sell land that is enrolled in any of the Conservation Reserve Programs be sure to visit with your FSA office first. Your CRP contract is a binding legal contract that is in effect until the expiration date even if you sell the land. If the person purchasing the land agrees to continue the practice through the lifespan of the contract, we do what is called a Successor In Interest. Once this process is completed and approved by the county committee the new owner is totally responsible for the CRP contract back to the first day it started. If the new owner defaults on the contract he is responsible to repay any payments he has received and any payments you received plus interest and liquidated damages. However, let's say your buyer does not wish to continue the program. You are then responsible to repay all payments you received from the beginning of the contract plus interest and liquidated damages. Terminating a CRP contract prior to its expiration date can be very costly. When selling CRP land you want to be sure you have notified the real estate agent and anyone looking at your property that it is in the CRP program. If you don't do this and after the sale the buyer does not wish to continue the contract it is too late to add the cost of buying out of the contract onto the selling price. CRP is an excellent program but it is also a long term commitment that should not be taken lightly.
Appeal process After an FSA official makes a decision on your request for USDA services or application, you will be sent a letter informing you of the decision and options you can pursue if you disagree. Generally, program participants have three choices an informal review with the original agency decision-maker, an opportunity for mediation and appeal to the USDA National Appeal Division.
Beginning farmers & ranchers Are you a farmer who has substantially participated in the farming operation for at least three years but no more than 10 years? If so, you may qualify for beginning farmer targeted loan funds with the 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.
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.