Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters on Nov. 5. If for some reason you don’t receive a ballot, feel free to notify your county FSA office. Completed and signed ballots must be returned to the county office by close of business on Dec. 3.
In other news...
USDA market facilitation program: USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer MFP to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, wheat, shelled almond and fresh sweet cherry producers. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted. The sign-up period for MFP runs through Jan. 15, with information and instructions provided at www.farmers.gov/mfp. MFP provides payments to producers of eligible commodities who have been significantly impacted by actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of traditional exports. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported. A payment will be issued on 50 percent of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for a specific commodity.
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MAL and LDP policy changes made: The Agricultural Act of 2014 authorized 2014-2018 crop year Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs), with a few minor policy changes. Among the changes, farm-stored MAL collateral transferred to warehouse storage will retain the original loan rate, be allowed to transfer only the outstanding farm-stored quantity with no additional quantity allowed and will no longer require producers to have a paid for measurement service when moving or commingling loan collateral. MALs and LDPs provide financing and marketing assistance for wheat, feed grains, soybeans, and other oilseeds, pulse crops, wool and honey. MALs provide producers interim financing after harvest to help them meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. A producer who is eligible to obtain a loan, but agrees to forgo the loan, may obtain an LDP if such a payment is available.
FSA is now accepting requests for 2018 MALs and LDPs for all eligible commodities after harvest. Requests for loans and LDPs shall be made on or before the final availability date for the respective commodities. Before MAL repayments with a market loan gain or LDP disbursements can be made, producers must meet the requirements of actively engaged in farming, cash rent tenant and member contribution. Commodity certificates are available to loan holders who have outstanding nonrecourse loans for wheat, feed grains, pulse crops (dry peas, lentils, large and small chickpeas), wool, soybeans and designated minor oilseeds. These certificates can be purchased at the posted county price (or adjusted world price or national posted price) for the quantity of commodity under loan, and must be immediately exchanged for the collateral, satisfying the loan. MALs redeemed with commodity certificates are not subject to the actively engaged in farming, cash-rent tenant, Adjusted Gross Income provisions or the payment limitation.
To be considered eligible for an LDP, producers must have form CCC-633EZ, Page 1 on file at their local FSA Office before losing beneficial interest in the crop. Pages 2, 3 or 4 of the form must be submitted when payment is requested.
The 2014 Farm Bill also establishes payment limitations per individual or entity not to exceed $125,000 annually on certain commodities for the following program benefits: price loss coverage payments, agriculture risk coverage payments, marketing loan gains (MLGs) and LDPs. These payment limitations do not apply to MAL loan disbursements or redemptions using commodity certificate exchange. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provisions were modified by the 2014 Farm Bill, which states that a producer whose total applicable three-year average AGI exceeds $900,000 is not eligible to receive an MLG or LDP.
Producers must have a valid CCC-941 on file to earn a market gain of LDP. The AGI does not apply to MALs redeemed with commodity certificate exchange. For more information and additional eligibility requirements, please visit the County FSA office.
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Dates to remember
Nov. 5 — County committee ballots mailed to voters.
Nov. 12 — Veterans Day holiday. FSA offices closed.
Nov. 15 — The final acreage reporting deadline for perennial forage crops.