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2017 Census of Agriculture now under way

• Dec 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM

In December, farmers across the nation will receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted once every five years, the census of agriculture is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them; it is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation.

Producers can mail in their completed census form, or respond online via the improved web questionnaire.

Producers can respond to the census online or by mail and highly recommended to complete the questionnaire online. The online questionnaire now has time-saving features, such as automatic calculations, and the convenience of being accessible on mobile and desktop devices. The census response deadline is Feb. 5.

Farmers and ranchers, trade associations, government, extension educators, researchers, and many others rely on census of agriculture data when making decisions that shape American agriculture – from creating and funding farm programs to boosting services for communities and the industry. The census of agriculture is a producer’s voice, future, and opportunity.

Farm Loan Year End Reviews Producers that have a farm loan with FSA are reminded they must provide data for their Year-End Analysis (YEA) to their loan officer each year. Borrowers are urged to provide this information timely so that their files can be maintained. The office will contact you for the data you will need to provide us.

In other news...

Operating loan applications needed now: Farmers that plan to apply to the Farm Service Agency for annual operating loan assistance this year are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The earlier an application for loan assistance is filed, the quicker the FSA staff can process your request. Decisions on loans cannot be made until a complete application is received. Farmers should also contact their local FSA office to setup an appointment with a Farm Loan Official for information as to what is required in order to have a complete loan application on file.

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Farm storage facility loans: FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks. The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, oats, wheat, barley, minor oil seeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water).

Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for eligible commodities. Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security agreement and loans between $50,000 and $100,000 may require additional security. Loans exceeding $100,000 require additional security. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. 

The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and under served producers. To learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan, contact your County FSA office.

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Removing CCC loan collateral: Producers are reminded, if you have grain under Commodity Credit Corporation loan it cannot be removed or disposed of without prior county office staff authorization or repayment. The county office staff may issue release authorizations based on a telephone or in person request when you are ready to move the grain. A loan violation is subject to monetary and administrative penalties, such as repaying the loan at principal plus interest, liquidated damages, calling the loan and denial of future farm-stored loans and loan deficiency payments.

All commodity loans are subject to spot check. Locking in a market loan repayment rate is not a marketing authorization. If you are planning to move CCC loan grain, call the Huron-Erie FSA office staff, before you haul.

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