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Key FSA dates to remember

Spring is a busy time, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency has some key deadlines approaching you don’t want to miss. Circle these important farm program dates on your calendar if they pertain to your farming operation.

Beth Grabau, with the FSA state office in Des Moines, answers questions regarding sign-up for the 2012 program. If you need information, contact your local FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

Question: Can I go to my local FSA office once this spring and sign everything, since all the dates are so close? Since there are no advance direct DCP payments, I’ve put off signing up. What are the deadlines? What other FSA program dates should I be aware of?

Answer: With warm temperatures, farmers caught spring fever early and began preparing for spring planting. Sign-up for the Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program in some county offices has been slow. Here are dates to remember:

June 1 is the deadline for signing up for the 2012 DCP program, as well as the 2010 SURE program.

Program participants must certify 2012 crop acreages after planting. Deadline to certify is June 30.

Producers who would like to request a reconstitution of farms for the 2012 crop year should do so before Aug. 1.

Question: With the deadline for DCP enrollment coming up, which signatures are needed by June 1? Any other important reminders for the DCP and ACRE programs?

Answer: DCP enrollment started Jan. 23 and will end June 1. It is important that producers receiving a share greater than zero on the DCP-ACRE contract sign, date and return the contract to their local county FSA office no later than June 1. In lieu of a signed contract, operators can provide a copy of the 2012 cash rent contract, or a signed CCC-510 Cash Rent Certification.

A couple of important reminders:

All producers with an interest in DCP base acres must be included on the DCP-ACRE contract and receive a proportionate share of DCP-ACRE payment for the farm.

Ownership, producer and crop share changes on the farm after enrolling in DCP-ACRE by June 1 must be reported to your local FSA office. Producer changes could be individual or entity changes. Please note that changes cannot be made to DCP-ACRE after Sept. 30.

Question: I had some losses in 2010, although I’m not sure I’m eligible for SURE. When does that sign-up end?

Answer: The sign-up for 2010 losses runs through June 1. The 2010 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program benefits are available when farm revenue losses occurred due to natural disasters during that crop year. SURE is available to eligible producers in Secretarial disaster-declared counties and counties that are contiguous to these counties on any farm, or where the actual production on the farm, because of disaster-related conditions, is 50% or less than normal production.

In the counties with Secretarial disaster declaration, including contiguous counties, SURE applies to crop production or quality losses, or both, and includes all crops grown by a producer nationwide, except grazed crops. For 2010, these Iowa counties include: Adair, Adams, Appanoose, Audubon, Benton, Boone, Buchanan, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Des Moines, Dubuque, East Pottawattamie, Fayette, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Monroe, Monona, Montgomery, Muscatine, O’Brian, Osceola, Page, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Scott, Shelby, Sioux, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, West Pottawattamie, Winnebago, Woodbury, Worth and Wright.

Producers who are not in a designated or contiguous county may be eligible for SURE if actual production on their farms is 50% or less of normal production because of disaster-related conditions. Producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for more information on eligibility of their farm(s) for this program.

Question: Are there any new requirements for acreage reporting for the 2012 crop year? What’s the importance of filing?

Answer: Many FSA programs require an accurate acreage report be filed for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting acreage, before program benefits can be paid. Filing an accurate report can also prevent the loss of benefits for a variety of other programs. Crop reports are used for the basis of some programs’ eligibility, such as Conservation Reserve Program.

Other information, such as planting dates for each crop by field, is also required. 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 crops enrolled in programs other than the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assist-ance Program, acreage reports are to be certified by June 30. Acreage reports on crops covered by NAP are due in the county office by the earlier of June 30, 2012, for all other crops, or 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported.

This article published in the May, 2012 edition of WALLACES FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.