Press-Republican

July 21, 2013

Farm briefs: July 21, 2013


Press-Republican

USDA extends acreage-reporting deadline

MALONE — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency acreage reporting deadline has been extended, according to FSA County Executive Director Jennifer Bosley.

Farmers and landowners have an additional 18 days to submit their annual report of acreage to their local FSA county office with the deadline extended to Friday, Aug. 2. Only the FSA reporting deadline has been extended. The acreage reporting requirement for crop insurance has not changed and remained July 15.

“We want to ensure our producers maintain their program benefits by filing their reports accurately and in a timely manner for all crops and land uses, including prevented and failed acreage,” Bosley said.

Accurate acreage reports are necessary to determine and maintain eligibility for various programs such as the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP), the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE), the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistant Program (NAP).

While FSA is able to extend its deadline, Risk Management Agency (RMA) emphasized that RMA’s acreage reporting date remained July 15 for most spring planted crops in the country. Farmers are reminded to report any loss within 72 hours of discovery to their insurance company. Farmers must report prevented planting acreage to their insurance company in writing within 15 days after the final planting date.

Losses must be reported and an insurance adjuster must view and release the crop before the crop is destroyed. Farmers are also reminded to contact their insurance agent if they have any questions about coverage, prevented planting or for reporting and processing a claim.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop-insurance agents. Contact a local agent for more information. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or on the RMA web site at www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents.

Producers also should visit their USDA Service Center to complete acreage reporting for FSA. Producers in Franklin County can visit the office at 151 Finney Boulevard, Malone, or call 483-2850, option 2. Clinton and Essex County producers should visit the office at 6064 Route 22, Plattsburgh or call 561-4616, option 2. For questions on this or any FSA program, producers should contact their FSA county office or seek information at www.fsa.usda.gov.

FSA County Committee nominations end Aug. 1

MALONE — U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency County Executive Director Jennifer Bosley is reminding everyone that the nomination period for local FSA county committees is underway now through Thursday, Aug. 1.

All eligible farmers and ranchers are encouraged to participate in this year’s elections by nominating candidates by the Aug. 1 deadline. County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S.D.A. and provide an opportunity to farmers and ranchers for their opinions and ideas to be heard.

To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate. This year in Franklin County, a representative of the towns of Burke and Chateaugay will be elected. In Clinton County, the area up for election includes the towns of Champlain and Mooers.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others, and organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form. The form and other information are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Elections will take place this fall.

While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members who are elected by eligible producers.

FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4. The voted ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 2. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 1, 2014.

Agriculture labor presentations offered at Farm Days

SENECA FALLS — The New York State Department of Labor operates the Agriculture Labor Program to assist farmers in achieving and maintaining compliance with state labor laws, and agriculture labor specialists Parker Filer and Laura Tramontana will offer daily presentations at the Aug. 6 to 8 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls.

The 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. presentations will address compliance issues with farm worker housing and how to use forms designed specifically to assist agricultural employers in meeting New York Wage Theft Prevention Act requirements.

The specialists will also be available at the 300-acre event that is the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the Northeast to answer questions related to farm businesses and Department of Labor services. Find more information at www.empirefarmdays.com.