FSA Notes

FSA Notes by Keith Zanter The deadline for 1999 crop CCC Price Support Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments is May 31, 2000. Producers have until that deadline to make requests for Price Support Loans or LDPs at their local FSA offices. The corn loan rate in Clay County is $1.73/bu, and the soybean loan rate is $5.10/bu. The current interest rate is 7.25%. CCC Price Support Loans are a marketing tool used by producers to withhold grain from the market, and generate a degree of income while the producer still maintains ownership of the commodity. May 31, 2000 is also the deadline for producers to provide their local FSA offices with production evidence for the 1998 crop. Producers who obtained a 1998 crop CCC Loan or LDP must provide production evidence related to that particular loan or LDP. Producers failing to provide the necessary production evidence by the May 31, 2000 deadline run the risk of having to refund the LDP amount or Market Gain to CCC. For further information regarding the CCC Price Support Loan/LDP program and the 1998 production evidence deadline, producers should contact their local FSA offices.

Landowners can receive more money for participation in the Conservation Reserve Program continuous signup. The new financial incentives include signing bonuses and more money for installing and maintaining conservation practices. The continuous signup enhancements consist of additional economic incentives and updated rates, including:

* An up-front signing bonus of $10 per acre for every year the contract covers. This amounts to $100-$150 per acre at the start of the contract to help defray up-front installation costs for filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, filed windbreaks, shelter belts, and living snow fences.

* A payment equal to 40 percent of the practice installation cost, in addition to the 50 percent cost-share paid by USDA or establishing certain approved practices.

* Increases in maintenance rate incentives for certain practices involving tree planting, fencing, or water development. Between $2-$5 per acre may be added to existing maintenance rate incentives.

* Updated marginal pastureland rental rates nationwide to better reflect the market value of these lands.

The rule changes and incentives apply only to certain CRP continuous signup practices, which generally include small acreages that provide high environmental benefits because of their impact on much larger areas. Unlike the regular CRP program, the continuous signup program allows producers to enroll eligible, highly environmentally sensitive land at anytime without waiting for a signup period or competing against other offers.

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