FSA programs explained: Take note – program changes ahead
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers commodity, conservation and disaster programs authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill will expire next year on Sept. 30, 2012. However, certain programs authorized in the Farm Bill will change or expire this year.
One of the major changes that farmers should expect this year involves the Direct and Countercyclical Program (DCP). In the past, producers could collect an advance payment of 22 percent of the total payment. In 2012, DCP will not offer advance payments. Full payments will be made only in October 2012. Since advance payments are not an option in 2012, the FSA will begin enrollment in the 2012 Direct and Countercyclical Program on Jan. 23, 2012.
Even though DCP will not offer advance payments, farmers should see a slight increase in payments as the amount of base acres eligible for payment increases from 83.3 percent to 85 percent. The enrollment process will remain the same, except for the start date for enrollment.
Disaster programs authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill include the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Livestock Forage Disaster Assistance Program (LFP), the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE). These programs provide disaster assistance for livestock losses, drought grazing losses, livestock disaster assistance and crop revenue losses. These programs are set to expire on Sept. 30, 2011. This means that the disaster assistance safety net provided by these programs will no longer be available after Sept. 30, 2011.
Livestock producers who have submitted a notice of loss under LIP and ELAP will have until Jan. 30, 2012 to complete an application for payment. However, any losses incurred after the Sept. 30 deadline will not be eligible for compensation. Producers are still encouraged to maintain documentation of death losses suffered after the program expiration date. The losses incurred during this time may be counted toward a producer’s normal mortality losses for the year.
Under the SURE program, the FSA is getting ready to accept applications for crop revenue losses suffered in 2010. However, a sign up date has not yet been announced. Sign up for crop revenue losses incurred in 2011 will be eligible for SURE, but only if those losses were suffered before the Sept. 30 deadline. A sign up for 2011 SURE can be expected in late 2012.
Even though FSA will be announcing an enrollment under SURE for losses suffered in 2010 after the program expires, the program eligibility is based upon the date of the loss. The SURE program is administered a year after the losses are suffered because the program utilizes an average market price established during the marketing year. A marketing year is different for each crop and can last for up to a year after harvest.
I haven’t been with FSA long enough to be able to tell you that a program expiring before the Farm Bill is a common thing. I don’t know. I do know that the programs mentioned are set to expire on Sept. 30, 2011. For any additional changes to programs, I recommend staying in touch with your local Farm Service Agency Service Center.
james neill is the county executive director for the farm service agency in meade county, sd and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. questions about the sure, lip, elap, and lfp or any other program administered by the farm service agency should be directed to your local farm service agency service center.
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