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FSA CORNER

By Staff | Mar 29, 2013

The Farm Service Agency joined the rest of the agriculture industry in celebrating National Ag Day on March 19. This year marked the 40th anniversary of National Ag Day and the theme is “Generations Nourishing Generations.”

The Farm Service Agency invites everyone to take a moment to celebrate agriculture and honor our hard-working farmers.

Generation after generation of agricultural producers in Iowa work to provide the food, fiber and fuel that feed and clothe Americans and others around the world.

According to recent USDA studies, the agricultural sector remains a bright spot in terms of economic stability and growth and there is a strong demand for U.S. agricultural products.

Despite the natural disasters of the past year, producers still managed to grow the commodities that keep our economy moving forward.

Farmers and ranchers also maintain our abundant supply of renewable resources in an environmentally sensitive manner.

Iowa’s agricultural production contributed $32.8 billion to the U.S. economy.

Today each American farmer produces enough food to feed more than 144 people, a dramatic increase from the 25 people a farmer sustained in 1960.

These increased efficiencies demonstrate that American agriculture is producing more and doing it better than ever before.

CRP general sign-up

USDA will conduct a four-week general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program beginning May 20 and ending June 14.

CRP protects the nation’s natural resources through voluntary participation, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States.

Currently, about 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP. Producers that are accepted in the sign-up can receive cost-share assistance to plant long-term, resource-conserving covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract – 10 to 15 years.

Contracts on 3.3 million acres of CRP are set to expire on Sept. 30. Producers with expiring contracts, or with environmentally sensitive land, are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.

For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or www.fsa.usda.gov.

FSFL

The Farm Storage Facility Loan program allows producers of eligible commodities to obtain low-interest financing to build or upgrade farm storage and handling facilities.

The maximum principal amount of a loan through FSFL is $500,000. Participants are required to provide a minimum down payment of 15 percent, with CCC providing a loan for the remaining 85 percent of the net cost of the eligible storage facility and permanent drying and handling equipment.

Loan terms of seven, 10 or 12 years are available depending on the amount of the loan. Interest rates for each term may be different and are based on the rate which CCC borrows from the Treasury Department.

Applications for FSFL must be submitted to the FSA county office that maintains the farm’s records. An FSFL must be approved before any site preparation or construction can begin.

The following commodities are eligible for farm storage facility loans:

1. Corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, oats, wheat, barley or minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain

2. Corn, grain sorghum, wheat, oats or barley harvested as other-than-whole grain

3. Pulse crops – lentils, small chickpeas and dry peas

4. Hay

5. Renewable biomass

6. Fruits (including nuts) and vegetables for cold storage facilities

7. Honey

Annie’s Project

Annie’s Project is a six-week session to help farm women learn about farm management skills in a comfortable setting.

It will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on June 4, 6, 11, 18, 25 and July 2 at the Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge.

For additional information and to register contact Susan Schmitz at ISU Extension-Webster County at (515) 832-9597 or email her at sschmitz@iastate.edu.

Leners is the executive director for the Farm Services Agency in Webster County. She can reached at (515) 573-2159, Ext.100.

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