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By Staff | Apr 26, 2013

The sign-up period for DCP and ACRE are still open. The DCP sign-up period will end on Aug. 2 and the ACRE sign-up period will end on June 3.

Both programs’ provisions are unchanged from 2012, except that all eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE.

June 1 is the deadline to provide changes to your farm records at the local FSA office for the current crop year. If you are changing your operation entity type, adding or dropping cropland or farms, or adding entities to your operation, contact your local FSA county office.

CRP sign-up starts soon

USDA will conduct a four-week general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program, beginning May 20 and ending on 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 program can receive cost-share assistance to plant long-term, resource-conserving covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract which is 10 to 15 years.

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

The Webster County FSA Committee has requested approval for new proposed CRP soil rental rates that are more-comparable to current cropland rental rates. FSA is anticipating having new, higher CRP rental rates available prior to the General CRP Signup.

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

Primary nesting season, CRP

CRP participants must schedule maintenance and management activities on CRP acres outside of the primary nesting season. Iowa’s primary nesting season begins May 15 and continues through Aug. 1. CRP participants should refer to their completed conservation plan for guidance.

FSA will notify you when you are required to complete the mid contract management. CRP contacts require maintenance during the life of the contact. This maintenance could include disking, inter-seeding, burning or other measures.

Cost share documents, along with bills, are to be submitted to the county office after the management activity has been completed.

Acres enrolled in CRP are not eligible for cosmetic or periodic mowing at any time. Mowing or spraying weed-infested area is not allowed on CRP acreage during the primary nesting season without prior authorization from the county committee in consultation with NRCS.

A written and approved request will need to be filled prior to any mowing/spraying activities.

Rural youth loans

The FSA’s Rural Youth Loan program provides financial assistance and business planning to help rural youth get a start on their future, while ensuring the future of family farms.

FSA makes loans to rural youths to establish and operate income-producing projects in connection with 4-H clubs, FFA and other agricultural groups. The maximum loan amount is $5,000. These loans may be used to finance nearly any agriculturally-based, income-producing project.

Contact a local FSA office for additional information and an application.

Acreage certification

As planting season gets started, remember to keep track of your planting dates for crop acreage reporting. Filing an accurate acreage report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting acreage, can prevent the loss of benefits for a variety of Farm Service Agency and other USDA programs.

The final date to report perennial forage, fall wheat and other fall-seeded small grains for the 2013 crop year was Dec. 15, 2012, however, there is no late-filing fee assessed unless the report is filed after July 15.

The final reporting date for all other crops including corn and soybeans is July 15. (Note: perennial forage “initial seeding” must be certified by the July 15 deadline. The following years after the initial seeding must be certified by Dec. 15).

Failed acreage must be reported before disposition of the crop. Prevented planting must be reported no later than 15 days after the final planting date for the crop.

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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