USDA Update – September 29, 2020

Agriculture USDA Service Center Update
Published Tuesday, September 29, 2020
by Eads USDA Service Center

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • CRP EMERGENCY GRAZING and HAYING - 30-DAY NO GRAZING HAS BEEN WAIVED FOR 2020.  FSA OFFICES CAN ACCEPT NEW REQUESTS FOR HAYING AND GRAZING UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2020
  • SERVICE CENTER CLOSED - MONDAY, OCTOBER 12 - OBSERVANCE COLUMBUS DAY 
  • CFAP2 SIGNUP - DEADLINE DECEMBER 11, 2020 - Call and schedule your appointment. 
  • 2021 NAP GRASS APPLICATION DEADLINE - December 1, 2020
  • 2020 PLC YIELD UPDATE - Deadline September 30, 2020
  • LFP - Signup ends January 30, 2021

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. 

SERVICE CENTER CLOSED

The USDA Service Center will be closed on Monday, October 12 in observance of Columbus Day.  The Service Center will reopen on Tuesday, October 13. 

OCTOBER PAYMENT CYCLE

The month of October for FSA offices is an extremely busy time of the year as it's the beginning of the new fiscal year and 2019 ARCPLC and 2020 CRP annual rental payments will be issued.  The office received a notification on Monday morning that the 2019 ARCPLC payment will begin processing through National Payment Service on Tuesday, October 6 and CRP payments will be processing October 9, 2020.  

As always, payments will be the top priority and we will do our best to get the payments issued in a timely manner.  At this point, if producers do not have payments in their bank account by Friday, October 23 - please contact the office.  

EXPIRING CRP LAND

Producers who did not re-offer expiring CRP acres or the land was not accepted by USDA for re-enrollment; as of October 1, 2020, this land is not under a CRP contract any longer.  Producers can graze under no restrictions by FSA or NRCS -  however producers who are possibly going to try to re-offer the land during another signup need to aware that for USDA to accept an offer on expired CRP the land must be maintained as CRP land.  Therefore, do not graze below the 4 inch stubble height.   

Producers who are going to return the land to cultivated cropland must complete an AD-1026 form with FSA and obtain a conservation plan through NRCS.  

NAP DEADLINE

The deadline to purchase 2021 application for coverage for grass for grazing is Tuesday, December 1st.  The cost for application for coverage for an individual or entity who is not considered a Beginning, Farmer and Rancher or Socially Disadvantaged is $325.00 per person, per crop.  To purchase a policy for all crops is $975.00.  

CFAP 2 

This office will begin scheduling phone appointments for producers beginning Monday, October 5.  Producers can call or email the office to schedule an appointment.  Livestock producers will need to read the information below pertaining to eligible livestock as the same numbers that were eligible for CFAP 1 will not be eligible for CFAP 2.  The 2020 crop and yield information will autofill when FSA completes the application.  If you are a producer with NO livestock; the application process will be fairly simple.  

Below is the information regarding CFAP 2 program that was a press release.  We encourage producers to visit Farmers.gov website as there is some great information available.  

I have bolded a few words in the news release and explanation of why is below - 

  • all classes of wheat - for CFAP, only production of 2019 durum wheat was eligible, with CFAP 2 planted acres for 2020 for all classes of wheat are eligible.  
  • Prevented planted acres are not eligible on any 2020 crop. 
  • Breeding stock for hogs, cattle and sheep are INELIGIBLE for CFAP 2.   -  Definition from CFAP handbook - breeding stock is defined as the following and therefore NOT ELIGIBLE:  
    • Cattle - cows and bulls 
    • Pigs - boars and sows
    • Lambs - rams and ewes 
  • Price Trigger Commodities - the acre and yield information will automatically autofill from FSA's database which will make submitting a completed signed application not possible.  

Background:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use funds being made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. 

Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing costs.

CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities - 

  • Price Trigger Commodities
  • Flat-rate Crops 
  • Sales Commodities.

Price Trigger Commodities

Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on producer's share of 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres. Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: 

  1. the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or 
  2. the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer's weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for that crop will be used.

Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between Apr. 16, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2020.  Definition of breeding stock is cows and bulls.  Bred and unbred heifers are eligible.  

Flat-rate Crops

Crops that either do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, oats, hemp, millet, triticale.

Sales Commodities

Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales.

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren't eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

Applying for Assistance

Deadline to apply for assistance is December 11, 2020. 

Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer's application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated.

CRP EMERGENCY HAYING and GRAZING 

Hopefully, by now the word has been received that the required 30 day no haying or grazing has been waived in Colorado for 2020.   Producers can request to hay or graze at any time prior to December 31st.  The office has contacted livestock producers who are grazing CRP acres; the majority of producers will be completed grazing September 30.  Livestock producers who did not receive a phone call or have not discussed grazing intentions past the 9/30 date - contact the office ASAP.  The modified conservation plan that was signed by the CRP producer has an expiration date of 9/30/2020; any grazing past that date will be a violation of the CRP contract.   

Grazing duration cannot exceed 90 days in a calendar year.  The CRP acreage may be grazed at 100 percent of the stocking rate.  Emergency grazing is not limited and does not require 25% to be left ungrazed after primary nesting season.  NRCS may determine contract specific stocking rates and grazing duration based on the condition of the cover.  

Emergency grazing must be completed by one of the following:

  • grazing date established by NRCS
  • Existing cover reaches minimum grazing height
  • Drought conditions improve and grazing is no longer authorized
  • December 31, 2020

Emergency haying cannot exceed 60 days in a calendar year and the hay must be removed within 15 days of being baled.  Haying must be completed by December 31, 2020.  In Kiowa county, producers can only hay 50% of the contract acreage.  If NRCS determines that the acreage cannot support haying - the request will be denied. 

Emergency haying must be completed by one of the following: 

  • 60 days
  • Drought conditions improve; or
  • December 31, 2020

MAINTAINING EXISTING CRP COVER 

Reminder to CRP producers, it is your responsibility to determine if the permanent cover can continue to sustain the grazing livestock; with the continued drought conditions the permanent cover may not justify continued grazing. When producers submitted the request to graze CRP, the grazing plan that was sent to both the grazing producer and the CRP producer is only a tool for stocking rates. 

There is a statement on the grazing plan which is below and needs to be adhered to. 

The stocking rate computed is based on estimated available forage.  The number of head and days grazed can be adjusted (increased/decreased) as long as the desired outcome is achieved, and the vegetative cover is maintained.  If the number of head is increased, then the days grazed should decrease.  It is the responsibility of the producer to adjust the stocking rate (#head or days grazed) and ensure livestock are removed in a timely manner.  

If the CRP producer determines that grazing must cease as the existing cover cannot sustain continued grazing; the producer grazing must remove the livestock.  Don't jeopardize compliance of your CRP contract.  All compliance issues are handled by the FSA County Committee and will involve payment reductions to the annual rental payment.

KiowaCountyPress.net may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.