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FSA CORNER

By Staff | Sep 6, 2013

It’s that time of year when we receive calls about weeds and volunteer trees on CRP acres. Here are a few reminders:

1. CRP acreage shall not be used as a lane or pathway under any circumstances. Building structures, equipment, recreational items cannot be stored on the CRP ground.

2. Limited use of field margins and areas within a field enrolled in CRP is authorized during the primary nesting season only if this activity is conducted as part of the planting, cultivating, or harvesting of a crop in an adjoining field.

3. Incidental grazing is permitted on waterways and filter strips with County Committee approval prior to grazing. An automatic payment reduction of 25 percent of the annual payment will be assessed on the acres being grazed.

4. Managed haying and grazing is allowed on CRP acreages with prior approval. An automatic payment reduction of 25 percent of the annual payment will be assessed on the acres being hayed and/or grazed.

5. Approved cover must be maintained according to your conservation plan. Undesirable weeds, plants, insects, or pests must also be controlled on CRP. Failure to do so may result in the COC assessing maintenance default for “lack of an approved cover.”

6. Burning of CRP acres must be included in Conservation Plan of Operations and must have an approved burn plan on file before conducting the burn or a payment reduction will be assessed.

7. Routine maintenance on CRP, such as spot spraying, mowing or burning, should be conducted before or after the primary nesting season for ground nesting birds. The primary nesting season in Iowa is defined as May 15 through Aug. 1. Any maintenance needed during the primary nesting period must be approved by the FSA County Committee, in consultation with NRCS, on affected acres only.

8. No cosmetic mowing of CRP is allowed at any time during the year. Mowing is only allowed when CRP cover is threatened by weeds.

When these or any other contract violations are discovered, the COC must determine whether a good faith effort to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract were made.

If the COC determines that a good faith effort was made, then a payment reduction must be assessed. If a good faith effort to comply was not made, the acreage must be terminated and a refund of all payments made, including cost-share and incentive payments, plus interest and liquidated damages must be made.

The standard penalty or liquidated damages assessed for terminating a CRP contract and not completing the term length of the contract is equal to 25% of the contract’s annual payment.

Farm safety

Summer is an exciting and hectic time on farms. FSA employees care about our customers and want to remind them to practice farm safety.

Remember to walk around machinery and check shields and guards; make sure the PTO’s master shield is in place; make sure Slow Moving Vehicle signs are on machinery.

If you are taking medicine, take it at the appropriate time and eat on schedule.

If you are working in grain bins know that flowing grain can kill, and it can kill quickly. It takes less than five seconds for a person caught in flowing grain to be trapped. Try not to work alone in bins or confined spaces, and if that’s not possible let someone know where you are by checking in regularly by cell phone.

The American Society of Safety Engineers offers the following safety tips for farmers:

1. Educate yourself on farm equipment. Read and follow instructions according to the equipment’s manuals about safety.

2. Conduct regular equipment inspections.

3. Don’t wear loose clothing while entering confined spaces such as grain bins, silos and hoppers as this can prevent entanglements.

4. Install Rollover Protective Structures on tractors.

5. Use seat belts while operating tractors with a ROPS. Do not allow additional passengers on the tractor with you.

6. While operating tractors and other farm equipment, be very cautious on rural roadways.

7. Use protective gear when operating machinery: Be familiar with hazardous chemicals. Take extra precaution when handling chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane gas and hydrogen sulfide.

8. Consistently educate your family and co-workers about safety practices, especially children.

MAL

Short-term financing is available by obtaining low interest commodity loans for eligible harvested production. A nine-month Marketing Assistance Loan provides financing that allows producers to store production for later marketing. The crop may be stored on the farm or in the warehouse.

Loans are available for producers who share in the risk of producing the eligible commodity and maintain beneficial interest in the crop through the duration of the loan.

Beneficial interest means retaining the ability to make decisions about the commodity, responsibility for loss because of damage to the commodity and title to the commodity.

Once beneficial interest in a commodity is lost, it is ineligible for a loan, even if you regain beneficial interest.

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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