USDA Update – January 7, 2020

Agriculture USDA Service Center Update
Published Tuesday, January 7, 2020
by USDA Eads Service Center Staff

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • SERVICE CENTER CLOSED - January 20, 2020 - Martin Luther King Birthday 
  • CRP General Signup #54 - Deadline February 28, 2020
  • Farm Loan personnel in Eads Office - 2nd Tuesday every month
  • 2019 & 2020 - ARCPLC signup - Begins October 1 - Deadline March 15

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. 

CRP OFFERS

Producers who have received a letter stating they have one or more CRP contracts that will be expiring September 30, 2020 now have the option to offer the land for another 10-year contract. Producers are asking - how do I make an offer? That's a good question, because normally with most FSA programs there is paperwork involved and one sometimes doesn't know where to begin. An offer can be made by one eligible producer on the farm. If the offer is accepted, then all other required signatures on the contract can be obtained. 

There are a few things that producers - tenants and landowners need to discuss before coming determining to place an offer. 

Are all parties in agreement on the following: 

#1 - making an offer? What participant will make the offer? Do all parties agree to reoffer the expiring contracts, as there are other options that were explained in the letter? 

#2 - contract shares on the offer? Operators and owners need to agree on participants and shares for each participant that will be on the offer. REMINDER: Only an eligible producer on the farm can make an offer. This can be better explained in Handbook 2-CRP, Rev. 6, para. 126, described below. There is certain criteria for owners and also for operators that must be followed. 

OWNERSHIP

An owner is eligible to offer land for enrollment in CRP if the owner meets 1 of the following requirements:

  • Owned the land for 12 months before the close of signup for general signup and CRP grassland offers
  • Owner land for 12 months before submitting the offer for continuous signup. 

Exception: owners of land under expiring CRP-1 may reoffer such land for enrollment regardless of the length of ownership if all other eligibility requirements ae met. 

Acquired the land by will or succession as a result of death

OPERATORS

An operator is eligible to offer land for enrollment in CRP when the operator meets all of the following requirements: 

  • Operated the land for 12 months before the close of current signup for general signup and CRP grassland offers
  • Operated the land for 12 months before submitting the offer for continuous signup
  • Provides satisfactory evidence, as determined by County Committee, that control of the land will continue uninterrupted for the CRP-1 period. Tenant must be able to prove to County Committee tenancy will remain for the length of the contract. 

#3 - Offering the existing stand and maximizing EBI points 

Once the participants and the shares have been determined for expiring existing contracts and producers have decided to offer the land for another 10-year contract. The producers will essentially be offering the existing permanent cover to FSA and in turn FSA will pay an annual rental payment (determined by dollar rates of three predominant soils). If the offer is accepted and the contract approved, the contract period will be 10-01-2020 to 09-30-2030. 

In Kiowa County, when you visit the office, or chose to place the offer by email or fax. First the staff will have the rental per acre and the Environmental Benefits Index or EBI points available based on a 20 point N1a existing stand (minimum 1 to 3 species) and the balance of the EBI points that are computer generated. This will give the producer an idea of the total EBI score for that tract of land. 

The only EBI factors that producers have control in determining the points are the following: 

N1a - existing stand - 

  • 20 points - existing stand which consists of 1 to 3 native grass species or
  • 50 points - existing stand which consists of 3 native grasses and at least 1 shrub, forb or legume

N6b - offer less than maximum payment rate. Earn 2 points for each percent below the maximum rental rate offer to a maximum of 25 points for 15% reduction in payment. 

The balance of the EBI points are computer generated and are not appealable. 

Kiowa FSA asks that producers with expiring contracts call the office and schedule an appointment to complete the offer process, even if you are wishing to complete the offer by email or fax. The office staff needs to allot time for each producer. 

If you are wishing to complete the offer by fax or email. The office fax number is 844-332-7501 and the staff email addresses.

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