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FSA November Newsletter

Nov. 16 Deadline – Fall Acreage Reporting

Colorado producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA Office to file an accurate crop certification report no later than November 16, 2015 for PRF/Perennial Forage, which includes but not limited to grass, alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, clover and mixed forage intended for hay or grazing. PRF includes acreage insured as PRF with crop insurance.

There will be a late file fee after November 16, 2015.  Producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA office to file an accurate, timely crop certification report no later than Nov. 16.

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting date:

  • If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.
  • If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.
  • If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July 15th.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact your local FSA office.

FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 9

Farmers and Ranchers Have a Voice in Local Farm Program Decisions

Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the 2015 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 7, 2015, to ensure that their vote is counted.

Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. County committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs; conservation programs; indemnity and disaster programs; emergency programs and eligibility.

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Approximately 1.9 million producers are currently eligible to vote.  Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.

Farmers and ranchers will begin receiving their ballots the week of Nov. 9. Ballots include the names of candidates running for the local committee election. FSA has modified the ballot, making it more easily identifiable and less likely to be overlooked. Voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can pick one up at their local FSA office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 7, 2015. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2016.

For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.  You may also contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA office.  Visit http://offices.usda.gov to find an FSA office near you.

Nov. 13 Deadline – To Increase Protections for Forage Crop Losses

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) deadline for producers to obtain or modify higher levels of coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to protect against poor forage crop quality because of drought or other natural disasters where the forage is intended for mechanical harvest has been extended to Nov. 13, 2015.

For some 2016 forage crops, the application deadline for NAP occurred before information became available to measure losses due to quality that could influence loss payments, so the deadline was extended so that producers have more time to decide what type of modified coverage works best for their operation.

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program protects agricultural crops for which crop insurance is not available from losses due to natural disasters, such as drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, excessive wind or hurricanes. The program offers basic coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses exceeding 50 percent of expected production, and higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of expected production at 100 percent of the average market price. Higher coverage is not available on grazing crops.  However, the extension does not afford producers the opportunity to purchase basic 50/55 NAP coverage.

Producers interested in adjusting their NAP coverage must submit the appropriate paperwork to their local FSA county office before the Nov. 13 deadline. To find your local USDA Service Center go to http://offices.usda.gov. For more details on the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap.

Nov. 20 Deadline – Signup for Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015.  The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

Producers are encouraged to use the online Web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.

Producers who were enrolled in 2015 will need to make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee. Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until Sept. 1, 2016. Also, producers can work with milk marketing companies to remit premiums on their behalf.

To enroll in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, contact your local FSA county office.  To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

Payments under the program may be reduced by a certain percentage due to a sequester order required by Congress and issued pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.  Should a payment reduction be necessary, FSA will reduce the payment by the required amount.

Dec. 1 – NAP Deadline Approaching for 2016 Crops

Producers are reminded to apply for 2016 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) benefits by Dec. 1, 2015. TheDec 1 deadline includes: Alfalfa, Clover, Grass, Honey, Mixed Forage, Mustard and Vetch.

Eligible producers can apply for 2016 NAP coverage at their local FSA Office using form CCC-471, Application for Coverage. The service fee for basic NAP coverage is the lesser of $250 per crop or $750 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,875 for a producer with farming interest in multiple counties. Producers interested in buy-up coverage must pay a premium, in addition to the service fee. The maximum premium will be $6,563.

Producer meeting the definition of a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, beginning farmer or rancher or limited resource farmer or rancher will have service fees waived. Producers meeting this definition that choose to purchase buy-up coverage will also have service fees waived and the premium will be capped at $3,282.

Beginning Farmer Loans

FSA assists beginning farmers to finance agricultural enterprises. Under these designated farm loan programs, FSA can provide financing to eligible applicants through either direct or guaranteed loans. FSA defines a beginning farmer as a person who:

  • Has operated a farm for not more than 10 years
  • Will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm
  • Agrees to participate in a loan assessment, borrower training and financial management program sponsored by FSA
  • Does not own a farm in excess of 30 percent of the county’s average size farm.

Additional program information, loan applications, and other materials are available at your local USDA Service Center.  You may also visit www.fsa.usda.gov

Loans for Targeted Underserved Producers

FSA has a number of loan programs available to assist applicants to begin or continue in agriculture production. Loans are available for operating type loans and/or to purchase or improve farms or ranches.

While all qualified producers are eligible to apply for these loan programs, FSA has provided priority funding for members of targeted underserved applicants.

A targeted underserved applicant is one of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of his or her identity as members of the group without regard to his or her individual qualities.

For purposes of this program, targeted underserved groups are women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

FSA loans are only available to applicants who meet all the eligibility requirements and are unable to obtain the needed credit elsewhere.

Important FSA Dates to Remember

                                Important FSA Dates to Remember

  • Nov. 9- County Committee Election Ballots will be Mailed to Eligible Voters
  • Nov. 12- All Hay Bales Must be Removed from CRP
  • Nov. 16- 2016 Acreage Reporting Deadline for Apiculture, Perennial Forage, Pasture, Rangeland & Forage (PRF) including Native Grass, Fall Wheat and all other Fall-Seeded Small Grains
  • Nov. 16- Deadline for 2015 NAP Production Reports for Annual Fall-Seeded Crops, Perennial Forage, Mixed Forage Crops, Rye, Speltz, Triticale, Wheat and Garlic
  • Nov. 20 – 2016 NAP Application Closing Date for Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Grapes, Hops, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums and Prunes
  • Dec. 1 2016 NAP Application Closing Date for Honey, Alfalfa, Mixed Forage and Grass
  • Dec. 1 – Feb. 26, 2016 CRP General signup
  • Dec. 7 Last Day to Return Voted County Committee Election Ballots to FSA at the Local USDA Service Center

                          Ongoing Notice of Loss Requirements:

  • NAP: Submit Notice of Loss within 15 calendar days of the earlier of a natural disaster occurrence, the final planting date if planting is prevented by a natural disaster, the date that damage to the crop or loss of production becomes apparent; or the normal harvest date.
  • ELAP: Submit Notice of Loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent or Nov. 1st after the end of the program year in which the loss occurred.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP): Submit Notice of Loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

 

Colorado State FSA Office
Denver Federal Center
Building 56, Room 2760
Denver, CO 80225-0426

Phone: 720-544-2876
Fax: 844-860-8228
Website:www.fsa.usda.gov/co

State Executive Director: Leland Swenson

State Committee;
Chairman:
ArmandoValdez
Members:
Marsha Daughenbaugh
Anita Nein
Bill Warren
James Hume

Next Meeting: December 7 & 8 

Online directory of FSA Offices

Reasonable Accommodations:People with disabilities who require accommodations to participate in FSA programs should contact the County Executive Director in the FSA Office in your area or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. Alternatively, you may also contact Colorado FSA Civil Rights Coordinator Patti Finke at(720) 544-2889 orpatti.finke@co.usda.gov

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