FSA Scoop: Looking ahead as summer fades
As we roll through the month of August, thoughts turn toward back-to-school, football and even harvest. There is never really any down-time these days, but we are hopeful you get a little bit of a break this month.
As you prepare for fall activities, here’s a few things to think about from your FSA office:
• Thank you to everyone for getting in to see us for enrollment in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2018. Keep in mind if you completed your enrollment earlier this year, and had changes later, such as changes in shares or new producers, you need to revise your contract. Also, if you previously enrolled your farm, but a reconstitution has been completed, a new contract must be filed for the new FSA farm number. These actions must be completed by late September, so stop in to see us now.
• With harvest just around the corner, I want to remind you of the availability of Market Assistance Loans (MALs). These loans give you operating funds while you wait to sell your crop at what you feel is the right price.
• We’ve had many folks ask us about the Market Facilitation Program that was announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue near the end of July as part of a federal government response to assist agricultural producers impacted by disrupted markets. We are awaiting more details on this program.
New application deadlines
The Nebraska Farm Service Agency (FSA) is announcing new policy application deadlines for several crops covered through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).
NAP provides disaster assistance coverage for crops that are ineligible for federal crop insurance coverage. In Nebraska, this can include crops such as alfalfa, perennial grass forage and grazing crops, honey, fruits, vegetables, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture and turf grass, among others.
Nebraska FSA recently made changes to the policy application closing dates for several crops for the 2019 season. In some cases, the policy application closing deadline is six months earlier than in the past. These new deadlines include:
• Alfalfa and mixed forages, deadline to apply for 2019 coverage: Oct. 1, 2018
• Grass, deadline to apply for 2019 coverage: Nov. 15, 2018
• Aronia berries and grapes, deadline to apply for 2019 coverage: Nov. 20, 2018.
Producers of these crops who wish to have NAP coverage in 2019 must visit their local FSA office prior to the policy application closing deadline.
Like crop insurance, NAP coverage is valuable when weather and disease disasters strike. Eligible causes of loss for NAP include drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture or wind, flooding, excessive heat, among others. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production.
The fee for basic coverage is $250 per crop, with a maximum of $750 per county and a multi-county maximum of $1,875. Beginning, underserved and limited resource farmers are eligible for free catastrophic level of coverage.
To learn more about NAP visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap. To find out about the crops covered by NAP in your local area, visit your county FSA office. To find your local office, go to https://offices.usda.gov.
It is important to contact your local FSA office prior to any haying or grazing activities on CRP acres to ensure your contract remains in compliance.
For emergency loans
Perkins County was declared a contiguous disaster due to damages and losses caused by severe winter storm and straight-line winds that occurred in mid-April. Under this designation, producers with operations in any primary or contiguous county are eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans. Emergency loans help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding and other natural disasters or quarantine.
Producers have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses, to a maximum amount of $500,000.
For more information about emergency loans, please contact your local FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.
Just a reminder that, if you aren’t already registered, you can sign up to receive brief, timely information about important program deadlines through our text message service. To sign up, use your cell phone to simply text NEPERKINS to FSANOW (372-669). No more than two messages will be sent per month, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Enjoy the fading days of summer.