FSA Notes

FSA Notes By Keith Zanter Crop Disaster Program Assistance

The Crop Disaster Program (CDP) assistance is for farmers who suffered losses to 1999 crops due to natural disasters. The losses must be directly attributed to adverse weather and related conditions. The program covers insured crops, uninsured crops and noninsurable crops.

The payment limitation is $80,000 per person. Farmers with eligible losses of insured crops will be compensated at 65 percent of crop insurance market price elections. Farmers with eligible losses to uninsured crop will be compensated at 60 percent of the crop insurance market price elections. Noninsurable crops will be compensated at 65 percent of the five-year National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) price.

Payments to farmers will be prorated after all applications are reviewed. An advance payment of 35 percent will be issued.

Sign-up began on Dec. 13 and ends Feb. 25, 2000. Please call 605-624-7060 Ext. #2 for an appointment or additional information.

Conservation

Reserve Program

CRP sign-up period 20 is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2000, through Feb. 11, 2000. During the sign-up period eligible landowners and operators may offer environmentally sensitive land in the program. Offers that are accepted by the Department of Agriculture will become effective contracts on Oct. 1, 2000.

The CRP is a voluntary program under which producers agree to place eligible cropland into the program for 10 to 15 years in return for an annual rental payment and cost-share assistance for establishing conservation practices. The program emphasizes benefits to the environment by reducing soil erosion, water and air pollution, and enhancing wildlife habitat.

Land offered for CRP competes for acceptance based on an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). The EBI evaluates the offers on a national basis using seven factors: soil erosion; wildlife habitat; water quality; conservation priority areas; and cost.

The 20th CRP sign-up will be highly competitive and interested producers should contact their local FSA for details of the program and consult with local USDA personnel on how to maximize EBI points. Producers can maximize their points and increase their chances of acceptance by offering the most environmental sensitive land and planting grass mixtures best suited for wildlife.

For holiday observances, USDA offices will be closed on: Friday, Dec. 24, Christmas holiday; Friday, Dec. 31, New Year's holiday; Monday, Jan. 17, 2000, Martin Luther King Jr. birthday observance.

USDA is an equal opportunity employer and lender.

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