Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with The Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing so without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm program benefits in jeopardy.
This is especially true for land that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions.
Producers with HEL determined soils are required to apply tillage, crop residue and rotational requirements as specified in their conservation plan.
Producers should notify FSA as a first point of contact prior to conducting land clearing or drainage type projects to ensure the proposed actions meet compliance criteria such as clearing any trees to create new cropland, then these areas will need to be reviewed to ensure such work will not risk your eligibility for benefits.
Landowners and operators complete the form AD-1026 — Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification to identify the proposed action and allow FSA to determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for further review is necessary.
FSA is Accepting CRP Continuous Enrollment OffersThe FSA is accepting offers for specific conservation practices under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Continuous Signup.
In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and to plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. The program’s long-term goal is to re-establish valuable land cover to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.
Under continuous CRP signup, environmentally sensitive land devoted to certain conservation practices can be enrolled in CRP at any time. Offers for continuous enrollment are not subject to competitive bidding during specific periods. Instead they are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap.
For more information, including a list of acceptable practices, contact the Owensboro -Daviess County USDA Service Center at 270-684-9286 ext. 2 or visit fsa.usda.gov/crp.
Be on the Lookout: New Form Required for Some NRCS Customers
If you are a producer or landowner who participates in USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) may be reaching out by mail with information about a form you’ll need to fill out.
Starting this year, all producers and landowners participating or applying to participate in certain NRCS conservation programs must complete form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan.
Historically, to participate in these programs, legal entities could file either the CCC-901, Member Information or the CCC-902, while individuals were not specifically required to file the CCC-902 with FSA. Now, to ensure FSA and NRCS are properly determining payment eligibility and maximum payment limitations, all customers must have a CCC-902 on file to establish eligibility.
These changes will not affect participants who already have a Form CCC-902 with a “determined” status recorded with FSA. Customers that do not have a CCC-902 on file with FSA will be sent a letter in the mail in the coming weeks with detailed information on what is needed and how to file the form. The letter requests that the form be completed within 30 days of receiving the letter.
For added convenience, USDA is offering options for remote or in-person submission of the CCC-902. Fiscal year 2021 is considered a transition year to ensure all NRCS program participants can meet this updated filing requirement. Beginning in FY 2022, if form CCC-902 is not on file your payments may be impacted.
We can help: NRCS and FSA staff are available at USDA Service Centers nationwide to provide information and assistance to walk you through meeting this filing requirement.
Farm Service Agency County Executive Director, Styke, RetiringI will be retiring effective March 31 after 39 years with USDA. I want to thank our farmers, staff, agricultural business leaders and other government agencies for working with me through the years and making me feel welcomed in this community. Daviess and Hancock counties have reason to be proud of their agricultural heritage. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you through the Farm Service Agency.