USDA Update – April 21, 2020

PROMO 660 x 440 Agriculture USDA Service Center Update
Published Tuesday, April 21, 2020
by Eads USDA Service Center Staff

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • PRIMARY NESTING SEASON - March 15-July 15 - NO ACTIVITY PERMITTED ON CRP CONTRACTS
  • REQUIRED PRODUCER RESPONSE FOR CRP ACCEPTED OFFERS - DEADLINE APRIL 30 
  • 2020- ARCPLC enrollment - Deadline June 30, 2020  
  • 2020 PLC YIELD UPDATE - Deadline September 30, 2020
  • WHIP+ signup - Begins March 23, 2020 
  • CRP Grasslands Signup - signup March 16 - May 15 - $6.00 an acre in Kiowa

Disclaimer:  Information in this UPDATE is pertinent to Kiowa County FSA only.  Producers reading this and that do not have FSA interest in Kiowa County are advised to contact their local FSA Office. 

COVID-19 USDA GUIDANCE

There is no public access allowed into the Service Center at this time.  Customers can call 719-438-5851 and schedule a phone appointment or can call with questions.  The staff is working and will continue to provide customer service.  Customers can use email, fax and phones to contact the office and/or employees.   Contact information is provided below. 

USDA Service Centers Open for Business by Phone Appointment Only 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Centers are encouraging visitors to take precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.  

The Kiowa County USDA Service Center will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call to schedule a phone appointment.   

Farm Service Agency: (719) 438-5851 extension 2 - Natural Resources Conservation Service: (719) 438-5851 extension 3 

Employees may also be contacted by email; the addresses are listed below in the Service Center contact information.   

Online services are available to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal where producers can view USDA farm loan information and payments and view and track certain USDA program applications and payments. Online NRCS services are available to customers through the Conservation Client Gateway. Customers can track payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents. Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at farmers.gov/sign-in. 

For the most current updates on available services and Service Center status visit farmers.gov/coronavirus

ACCEPTED CRP OFFERS

CRP Signup #54, accepted offer letters have been mailed out for Kiowa County FSA, be reminded the LETTERS WERE MAILED OUT TO CONTACT PERSON FOR THE OFFER.  Offers with multiple participants will need to contact the operator or the contact person listed on the offer for results of the offer.  

Producers have 30 days from March 31 to notify the FSA office if they wish to continue with the offer, the sooner the better.  If the FSA office does not receive notification from a producer on the offer by April 30th, the offer will be determined rejected.  Producers can contact FSA by phone, email or fax and producers with email addresses will receive a receipt for service notification from FSA.  Once FSA receives that notification, NRCS will begin work on the CPO or Conservation Plan of Operation for the offer.  Producers will be notified by NRCS once the CPO is ready for review and signature.  Upon completion of the CPO, signatures obtained on all forms and eligibility forms completed the offer will be approved by the FSA County Committee no later than September 30, 2020.  Once approved, the offer becomes an approved contract.  Producers can withdraw an offer at any point, prior to approval of the offer, without FSA assessing liquidated damages.  FSA will assess liquidated damages for any reason to an approved CRP contract.

SUCCESSION-IN-INTEREST RULES FOR CRP OFFER(S)

Producers who have accepted CRP offers and are considering selling the land, need to be aware of the following FSA policy.  

Succession - in - interest rights DO NOT apply to CRP offers to participate, except for:

  • Immediate family members of the producer that submitted the offer. 
  • A person, or entity taking title to the land offered when the producer that submitted the offer dies.  

FSA does allow for succession-in-interest to approved CRP contracts.  There is a difference between an 'offer' and an 'approved contract'.  Essentially the producer(s) who submitted the offer, accepted the offer to move forward are required to be the same individuals who will sign the Conservation Plan of Operation with NRCS and when the County Committee approved the contract, which will not be until later this summer.  Current CRP owners, potential buyers and realtors need to contact their local FSA Office for more information.  

DESTROYING CRP COVER BEFORE CONTRACT EXPIRATION 

Producers with CRP contracts that will expire September 30, 2020 who did not submit an offer for reenrollment,  or the submitted offer was rejected and are planning on returning the land to production or doing any activity prior to expiration; need to be aware of the following options and requirements to maintain contract compliance.   

 The current contract does not expire until September 30th; therefore, compliance will need to be maintained through that date. 

 No activity during Primary Nesting Season which is March 15 through July 15.

Any unauthorized activity such as haying/grazing or destroying permanent cover will be deemed a violation to the contract.  

  • Authorized haying and grazing activity, after primary nesting season will have 25% reduction applied to acres of the activity. 

Contract participants must submit requests on a CRP-1G Addendum before beginning any activity prior to expiration.

  • Final annual rental payment will be prorated from date of destruction of cover to September 30th.  
  • The CRP-1G Addendum is also applicable to the Transition Incentive Program (TIP) CRP participants. 

Required to meet with NRCS to obtain an approved conservation plan for the land.  

  • Conservation compliance must be maintained.  Producers who destroy the cover after the expiration date are required to obtain a conservation plan with NRCS. 

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