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FSA Scoop...Sorghum checkoff dates, payment guidelines announced PDF Print E-mail

By Mary Karash

County Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, Grant, NE

The Perkins County FSA Committee met on Jan. 13, 2011. Chairperson will be Brent Robertson, vice-chairperson will be Ashley Colglazier and Donnie Hajek will be a member. They will meet on the third Thursday of the month (subject to change) at 8:30 a.m. The agenda and regular minutes are available for review.
USDA has announced dates for the Sorghum Checkoff Referendum to be Feb. 1 through the 28th, 2011. Ballots may be obtain from the office in person, by mail or facsimile or via the internet at www.ams.usda.gov/sorghumpage.
Any eligible person engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from July 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010, is eligible to participate. Individuals are required to provide documentation such as a sales receipt or remittance form that shows they engaged in the production or importation of sorghum. For more information, contact the FSA office.
Payments and benefits under certain programs are subject to some or all of the following:
• payment limitation by direct attribution                • cash-rent tenant rule
• payment limitation amounts for the applicable programs        
• foreign person rule
• actively engaged in farming requirements            • average AGI limitations
Program payments and benefits specified are limited to person and legal entity and the following limitations:
• Counter-cyclical and ACRE payments on covered commodities except peanuts-$65,000 (Under ACRE, this amount will be a combined limitation for counter-cyclical and ACRE payments. If a person or legal entity has a direct or indirect interest in payments earned on a farm participating in ACRE, this limitation will reflect an increase for the amount that the direct payments were reduced.)
•Direct payments on covered commodities except peanuts-$40,000 (If the person or legal entity has a direct or indirect interest in payments earned on a farm that is in ACRE, this limitation will reflect a 20 percent reduction in direct payments on each farm that is participating in ACRE.)
• CRP annual rental payment-$50,000
• ECP (per disaster)-$200,000
• EQIP (all contracts for FY 2009-2012)-$300,000            • WRP-$50,000
• ELAP, LFP, LIP, and SURE-$100,000                    • NAP-$100,000
• TAP-$100,000                • LDP, MAL, and MLG-No limits
No program benefits subject to limitation will be provided until:
• all required forms for the specific situation are provided
• necessary payment eligibility and payment limitation determinations are made
• payment eligibility and payment limitation determinations may be initiated by COC or requested by the producer
• after 2009, a farm operating plan is not required to be filed annually, if the  farming operation continues to be conducted as reflected on the farm operating plan and supporting documents are on file in the county office
• if any changes occur that could affect an actively engaged in farming, cash-rent tenant, foreign person, or average AGI determination, producers must timely notify the county office by filing revised farm operating plans and/or supporting documentation, as applicable.  Note: Failure to timely notify the county office may adversely affect payment eligibility.
• there are statutory provisions that require entities, earning program benefits that
are subject to limitation, to provide the names, addresses, and TIN’s of the entities’ members to COC.
• all applicable payment eligibility and payment limitation forms submitted by producers are subject to spot check through the end-of-year review process
• a determination of not actively engaged in farming results in the producer being ineligible for any payment or benefit requiring a determination of actively engaged in farming
• noncompliance with AGI provisions, either by exceeding the applicable limitations or by failure to submit a certification statement, will result in the determination of ineligibility for all program benefits subject to AGI provisions; program benefits shall be reduced in an
amount that is commensurate with the direct and indirect interest held by an ineligible person or legal entity in any legal entity, general partnership, or joint operation that receives benefits subject to the average AGI limitations.
Customary Lease Payment Times for Land and Equipment:
Regarding equipment and land leases, there are some specific rules that apply in order to consider those contributions for payment eligibility. Please be aware of these specific rules when completing payment eligibility documents.
Specific Rules for Equipment–To be credited as a significant contribution to the farming operation, owned or leased equipment must meet the following requirements:          If the equipment is leased from another person, legal entity, or joint operation that has an interest in the farming operation OR if the equipment is leased from a joint operation that has one or more members in common with the producer to whom the equipment is leased, then the producer must be able to prove to county committee that the equipment was leased at a fair market value and make the payment within the time determined by the County Committee to be reasonable and customary for the area, taking into consideration whether the equipment is leased by the hour, day, or acre, or an annual basis.
(The Perkins County Committee has determined that most producers settle up after the equipment hours are established following harvest. Lease agreements therefore must be paid for by December 31st of the crop year.) 
If the equipment is leased from a person, legal entity, or joint operation not otherwise indicated, the before mentioned restrictions do not apply.
Specific Rules for Land–To be considered a significant contribution to the farming operation, owned or cash leased land must meet the following requirements: The land may be leased from any person, legal entity, or joint operation. If the land is leased from another person, legal entity, or joint operation that has an interest in any crop or crop proceeds in the farming operation, the producer must: be able to prove to COC that the land was leased at a fair market value and make the payment within the time determined by COC to be reasonable and customary for the area. 
The Perkins County Committee has determined that customary payments are the first half in the spring and final at the end of the year.
They determined that the customary first half is paid from March 1 through May 1st and the final payment would normally be Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.
Note: Share-rented land is a contribution of the landlord, not the share-renter.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.