Dawn M. Kurry
Richmond County Daily Journal
Hard-copy mailing of the Farm Service Agency’s Newsletter will be phased out, as cost cuts remove the paper printing and delivering of the newsletter, and make way for the digital form.
Producers should enroll in the new GovDelivery system to receive timely notices, newsletters and electronic reminders. Hard copy mail will be phased out.
GovDelivery helps FSA become more efficient. Moving to electronic notifications helps conserve resources and save taxpayer dollars, officials said.
County Committee ballots will continue to be mailed to all eligible producers.
Producers can now subscribe to receive free email updates by going to www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribe.
County Committee Voting Begins
Ballots for this year’s county committee election will be mailed to eligible voters today. Voters must complete their ballots and return them to the Farm Service Agency county office by the close of business on Dec. 5. If mailed, ballots must be postmarked by midnight Dec. 5.
The candidates in this year’s election are Jerry Morgan and James Porter. Both were nominated in LAA #3, Richmond County, to serve as a committee member.
Morgan resides in Rockingham and raises cattle, wheat, rye and hay crops.
Porter resides in Rockingham and has horses and produces hay.
Eligible voters in a local administrative area #3 who have not received a ballot should contact the FSA county office staff.
Persons meeting requirements in 1 or 2, plus 3, below, are eligible to vote:
1. Be of legal voting age and have an interest in a farm or ranch as any of the following:
* The authorized representative of an entity
* Both spouses when property is owned jointly
* Spouses in community property states.
2. Is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations on an entire farm.
3. Participates or cooperates in any FSA program that is provided by law.
No person shall be denied the right to vote because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation or marital or family status.
If you’re planning to sell farmland, there may be some program consequences you should be aware of. For example, if you’re planning to sell land that’s enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, the buyer must agree to continue the enrollment. If the buyer doesn’t want to continue the CRP contract, you might have to refund all of the payments you’ve received to date.
Reviewing program implications with your local Farm Service Agency staff before completing a sale of farmland is always a prudent precaution.
The Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) provides benefits for farm revenue losses due to natural disasters that incurred in the crop year 2010. SURE is available to eligible producers on:
— Farms in counties with Secretarial disaster declarations, including contiguous counties, that have incurred crop production or quality losses, or both, and includes all crops grown by a producer nationwide, except grazed crops.
— Any farm in which, for the crop year, the actual production on the farm, because of disaster-related conditions is 50 percent or less than normal production of the farm.
Disaster Assistance Programs
FSA disaster assistance programs include Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP), Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program and Tree Assistance Program (TAP).
To be eligible for these programs, producers must purchase catastrophic risk protection insurance for all insurable crops, and coverage for non-insurable crops under SURE, TAP, and ELAP.
Farm-Raised Fish means all fish being produced for sale by an eligible producer. In the case of honey, the term “farm” means all bees and beehives in all counties that are intended to be harvested for a honey crop by the eligible producer.
Producers who meet the definition of Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource Producer, or Beginning Farmer or Rancher, do not have to meet this risk management purchase requirement.
When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution — or recon — is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation.
The following are the different methods used when doing a farm recon. Remember, to be effective for the current year, recons must be requested by Aug. 1 for farms enrolled in the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program.
Estate Method — the division of bases, allotments and quotas for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate.
Designation of Landowner Method — may be used when part of a farm is sold or ownership is transferred; an entire farm is sold to two or more persons; farm ownership is transferred to two or more persons; part of a tract is sold or ownership is transferred; a tract is sold to two or more persons; or tract ownership is transferred to two or more persons. In order to use this method the land sold must have been owned for at least three years, or a waiver granted, and the buyer and seller must sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
DCP Cropland Method — the division of bases in the same proportion that the DCP cropland for each resulting tract relates to the DCP cropland on the parent tract.
Default Method — the division of bases for a parent farm with each tract maintaining the bases attributed to the tract level when the reconstitution is initiated in the system.
If DCP direct payments have already been issued on a particular farm, the reconstitution will be effective for the next year, unless the payments are refunded.
NAP Coverage Deadlines
Noninsured Crop Disaster applications are due at different times according to the crop being insured. Producers should apply for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage using form CCC-471 (Application for Coverage). Related service fees are due when the application is filed. The application and service fee must be filed by the crop sales closing date. Contact your local FSA office for the filing dates for your crops.
The Richmond County FSA office is located at 123 Caroline St., Suite 400. They can be reached at 910-895-3950, ext. 2.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 43, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.