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Policy updates for acreage reporting announced

By Diana Strouse • Jun 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently made several policy updates for acreage reporting for cover crops, revising intended use, late-filed provisions, grazing allotments as well as updated the definitions of “idle” and “fallow.”

With the certification season getting under way, we thought the following information might be helpful to our producers:

Reporting Cover Crops:

FSA made changes to the types of cover crops. Cover crop types can be chosen from the following four categories:

• Cereals and other grasses - Any cover crop that is classified as a grass plant or cereal grain, and would include, but not be limited to, the following cover crops: cereal rye, wheat, barley, oats, black oats, triticale, annual ryegrass, pearl millet, foxtail millet (also called German, Italian or Hungarian millet), sorghum sudan grass, sorghum and other millets and grasses.

• Legumes - Any cover crop that is classified as a legume, including, but not limited to, clovers, vetches, peas, sun hemp, cowpeas, lentils and other legumes.

• Brassicas and other broadleaves - Any cover crop that is classified as a non-legume broadleaf, including, but not limited to, Brassicas such as radishes, turnips, canola, rapeseed, oilseed rape and mustards, as well as other broadleaf plants such as phacelia, flax, sunflower, buckwheat and safflower.

• Mixtures - Mixes of two or more cover crop species planted at the same time, for example, oats and radishes.

If the cover crop is harvested for any use other than forage or grazing and is not terminated according to policy guidelines, then that crop will no longer be considered a cover crop and the acreage report must be revised to reflect the actual crop.

Permitted revision of Intended use after acreage reporting date:

New operators or owners who pick up a farm after the acreage reporting deadline has passed and the crop has already been reported on the farm, have 30 days to change the intended use. Producer share interest changes alone will not allow for revisions to intended use after the acreage reporting date. The revision must be performed by either the acreage reporting date or within 30 calendar days from the date when the new operator or owner acquired the lease on land, control of the land or ownership and new producer crop share interest in the previously reported crop acreage. Under this policy, appropriate documentation must be provided to the County Committee’s satisfaction to determine that a legitimate operator or ownership and producer crop share interest change occurred to permit the revision.

Acreage reports:

In order to maintain program eligibility and benefits, producers must timely file acreage reports. Failure to file an acreage report by the crop acreage reporting deadline may result in ineligibility for future program benefits. FSA will not accept acreage reports provided more than a year after the acreage reporting deadline.

Definitions of terms:

FSA defines “idle” as cropland or a balance of cropland within a Common Land Unit (CLU) (field/subfield) which is not planted or considered not planted and does not meet the definition of fallow or skip row. For example, the balance of a field that could not be planted due to moisture or a turn area that is not planted would be reported as idle. Fallow is considered unplanted cropland acres which are part of a crop/fallow rotation where cultivated land that is normally planted is purposely kept out of production during a regular growing season. Resting the ground in this manner allows it to recover its fertility and conserve moisture for crop production in the next growing season.

Here are some agri-business notes from the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency:

2017 acreage reporting dates: In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit your local County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline. Please call ahead and schedule your appointment so we will be ready for you when you arrive! The following acreage reporting dates are applicable:

July 15 — Report all your burley tobacco, cabbage (Planted 3/19/17 through 5/31/17), corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets, tomatoes and all other crops.

Aug. 15 — Report cabbage (Planted 6/1/17-7/20/17).

Sept. 30 — Report aquaculture.

Nov. 15  — Report perennial forage crops.

Dec. 15 — Fall barley, fall wheat, and all other fall-seeded small grains.

 

Diana Strouse is the county executive director for the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency. For more information, call the agency at 419-668-4113.

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