FSA election nomination process underway

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages all farmers, ranchers and FSA program participants to take part in the Perkins County Committee election nomination process. 

FSA’s county committees are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and local administration of federal farm programs.

The Perkins County FSA Office will be hosting an informational meeting on the county committee election process at 2 p.m. June 15 and 7:30 a.m. on June 28 in the FSA conference room. All those interested in learning about the election process are invited to attend.

Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties. Committee members are accountable to the secretary of agriculture.  If elected, members become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery process. 

A county committee is composed of three to 11 elected members from local administrative areas (LAA) depending on size of the county and other factors. In Perkins County, there are three county committee members, and in 2017 Committee Local Administrative Area (LAA) 1 is up for election. This LAA consists of the western portion of the county including Townships of 9-12 in Ranges 40 and 41, and T12-R39 and T12-R38.  

Each member serves a three-year term. One-third of the seats on these committees are open for election each year. 

County committees may have one or more appointed advisers to further represent the local interests of underserved farmers and ranchers. Underserved producers are beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers and landowners and/or operators who have limited resources. Other minority groups including native American and Alaska natives, persons under the poverty level, and persons who have disabilities, are also considered underserved. 

All nomination forms for candidates for the 2017 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA service center by Aug. 1. For more information on FSA county committee elections and appointments, refer to the FSA fact sheet, Eligibility to Vote and Hold Office as a COC Member, available online at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Upcoming Reporting Dates

Producers who file accurate and timely reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits. Please pay close attention to the acreage reporting dates below for 2017.

In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Perkins County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline. 

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Perkins County:

July 15: spring-seeded crops and Conservation Reserve Program acres

Sept. 30: Aquaculture, turfgrass/sod, nursery crops

Nov. 15: 2018 fall seeded and perennial forage crops

An FSA office visit is necessary even if farmers and ranchers have filed crop acreage reports with their insurance provider. The new USDA Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI) allows FSA and participating insurance providers approved by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to share common acreage reporting information electronically between offices. 

Once a producer files at one location, data that’s important to both FSA and RMA will be securely and electronically shared with the other location, avoiding redundant and duplicative reporting. However, producers must still visit both locations to validate and sign acreage reports, complete maps or provide program specific information.

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

• If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

• If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendar days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

• If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July 15.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy-holders should note the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the Perkins County FSA office at (308) 352-4747.


The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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