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FSA county committee nominations open

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Jun 26, 2019 at 8:00 AM

USDA’s Farm Service Agency have begun accepting nominations for county committee members.

Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. “I encourage America’s farmers, ranchers and forest stewards to nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their county committee,” FSA administrator Richard Fordyce said. “There’s an increasing need for diverse representation including underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and minority farmers and ranchers.”

Committees make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Their input is vital on how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues. Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serving on FSA county committees. The committees are made of three to 11 members and typically meet once a month. Members serve three-year terms.

Producers serving on our FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency. Producers should visit their local FSA office as soon as possible to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. Check with your local USDA service center to see if your local administrative area is up for election this year. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also may nominate candidates. To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at fsa.usda.gov/elections.

All nomination forms for the 2019 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1.

In other happenings...

When weather prevents or damages crops: FSA office within 15 days of the final planting When bad weather prevents planting or damages crops, FSA would like to remind producers to report the acreage to the date of the crop. This applies to all crops, whether covered by crop insurance, not covered by insurance, or covered by FSA’s Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP). Final planting dates vary among counties and crop types. Producers who have their crops insured through a private crop insurance company should contact the insurance agent immediately and advise them of the damaged crops.

Additionally, a CCC-576, Notice of Loss Application, must be completed in person at the FSA office, and the prevented and/or failed acres reported. Crops not covered with a private insurance or NAP policy should still be reported to the local FSA office. This will provide FSA with a historical record of your crop should disaster assistance become available.

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USDA acreage reporting deadline is July 15: 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 has established a new acreage reporting deadline for perennial forage for 2019 and subsequent years. Previously set in the fall, the new deadline is July 15.

Timely and accurate acreage reports for all crops and land uses, including prevented planting or failed acreage, are the foundation for many FSA program benefits. Producers who have coverage for perennial forage under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) must report their crop acreage by the earlier of any of the following: the established acreage reporting date (July 15), 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported, the established normal harvest date for the end of the coverage period. For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact your County FSA office.

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Dates to remember

July 4 — Independence Day holiday. FSA offices closed.

July 15 — Final certification date to report; cabbage planted through May 31; corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, potatoes, popcorn, sugar beets, tomatoes and other crops. Report perennial forage crops.

Aug. 1 — Last day to file county committee nomination forms.

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