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Farm Service Agency report

Farm Service Agency report

Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 8:00 pm
By: Submitted by Glenn P. Zarecor Sr.

County Committee Nominations
 The election of agricultural producers to Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees is important to all farmers and ranchers. It is crucial that every eligible producer participate in these elections because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  
County committee members are a critical component of the operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Farmers and ranchers who serve on county committees help with the decisions necessary to administer the programs in their counties. They work to ensure FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.  
FSA county committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws. County committee members apply their judgment and knowledge to make local decisions.   
The COC nomination period runs from June 15 through Aug. 1.
For more information, contact the local FSA office.   
 
Payment Limitations  
Anyone that plans to participate in 2012 programs is required to submit a completed CCC-902, CCC-926 and CCC-901, if applicable, for payment eligibility and payment limitation purposes. The form used previously was called a CCC-502.
 
Contributions
All partners, stockholders or members with an ownership interest in the legal entity must make a contribution, whether compensated or not compensated, for active*
• personal labor,
• active personal management
• or a combination of active personal labor and active personal management to the farming operation;
*Note: There are exceptions for spouses.
 Additional information on payment limitations is available at FSA county offices or online at www.fsa.usda.gov   
 
Crop Reporting
The annual requirement of reporting to the FSA office can be referred to as crop reporting, acreage reporting or crop certification. Filing an accurate and timely report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, can prevent loss of benefits for a variety of Farm Service Agency programs. All cropland on the farm must be reported to receive benefits from the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program, marketing assistance loans and Load Deficiency Payments.
The certification form FSA-578, Report of Acreage, must account for all cropland on a farm, whether idle or planted. The producer certification deadline for spring seeded crops is July 15.
CRP & NAP Certification
Conservation Reserve Program acreage must be reported to receive annual rental payments. Crop acreage for Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) must be reported.  
Prevented Planting
Prevented planting is to be reported no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date. Failure to report prevented planting acreage could result in loss of benefits for the SURE program or possibly other disaster assistance programs.
Failed Acreage
Reports of failed acreage must be filed before disposition of the crop and producers must be able to establish to the satisfaction of the county committee that the crop failed and was prevented from being replanted through the normal planting period because of natural disaster conditions.

Direct and Guaranteed Loans
The Farm Service Agency is committed to providing family farmers with loans to meet their farm credit needs. If you are having trouble getting the credit you need for your farm, or regularly borrow from FSA, direct and guaranteed loans are currently available.   
Ask your lender about an FSA loan guarantee if you’ve had a setback and your lender is reluctant to extend or renew your loan.
Farm ownership loans or farm operating loans may be obtained as direct loans for a maximum of up to $300,000. Guaranteed loans have a maximum limit of $1,214,000. This makes the maximum combination of direct and guaranteed loan indebtedness $1,514,000.  
The one-time loan origination fee charged on FSA guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans is 1.5 percent of the guaranteed portion of the loan.  
To find out more about FSA loan programs, contact the county office staff.   

FSA Signature Policy
Husbands and wives may sign documents on behalf of each other for FSA and Commodity Credit Corporation programs in which either has an interest. This option is automatically available unless a written request for exclusion is made to the county office staff by either spouse.  
There are exceptions to the rule, where spouses may not sign on behalf of each other for partnerships, joint ventures, corporations or other similar entities.
Individual signatures are also required on certain Farm Loan Program and Farm Storage Facility Loan documents.
For more clarification on spousal signature authority, contact the local FSA office.  

Published in The Messenger 6.5.12

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