"A hundred bucks is the price for waiting too long," says Derryl McLaren, State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Iowa. That's what it will cost farmers and ranchers who miss the June 1, 2006 final date to enroll for the 2006 Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program.
Producers have until the close of business on June 1, 2006 to sign contracts for the 2006 DCP program. After that, they will be assessed a late filing fee of $100 for each farm signed up. The final date to enroll a farm in the 2006 DCP Program is September 30, 2006.
"The majority of eligible producers in Iowa have already signed contracts for the year," notes Steve Phillips, Program Specialist with FSA, but we are trying to reach and encourage the last 10 to 15% to contact their local FSA Office.
"If producers wait too long, we may not be able to accommodate them before the cut off date," he says. "We don't want anyone to have to pay a $100 late fee."
The DCP Program provides a safety net for American farmers and ranchers. Producers receive two types of payments, direct and countercyclical, based upon their historical acreage bases and yields for specific commodities.
Producers receive an annual direct payment for each eligible crop. The payment equals 85% of the farm's base acreage for that crop times the farm's established yield times the payment rate established in the 2002 Farm Bill. Countercyclical payments kick in only when the market price for an eligible commodity falls below the effective price set in the farm bill.
Producers can sign-up online for DCP at www.fsa.usda.gov/egov/edcp_default.htm. To access the service, producers must have an active USDA eAuthentication Level 2 account, which requires filling out an online registration form at www.eauth.egov.usda.gov, followed by a visit to the county office for identity verification.
The online service allows producers to choose 2006 DCP payment options, designate crop shares and sign and submit their contracts electronically from any computer with Internet access.