FSA notes

FSA notes by Keith Zanter Noninsured crop disaster assistance program applications due by April 18

Producers have until April 18, to apply for coverage for certain eligible crops under the U.S. department of Agriculture's Noninsured crop Disaster Assistance Program. This deadline applies to 2001 and 2002 crops for which the coverage period would normally have begun prior to March 19, or within 60 days after March 19. Along with submitting an application for coverage, producers must pay applicable service fees and provide a certification fro prior crop year production for the crop by April 18.

The deadline for submitting an application for payment for 2001 crop losses is the 2002 acreage reporting date for the crop.

Producers seeking NAP coverage of eligible crops are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center prior to the deadline to identify applicable crops and file an application. Producers are reminded there are no late-file provisions for submitting applications for coverage after April 18.

NAP provides financial assistance to producers for eligible crop losses and prevented planting due to natural disasters. Eligible crops are those for which the catastrophic level of Federal crop insurance is not available and include those produced for food, livestock feed, fiber, mushrooms, floriculture, honey, maple sap, aquaculture (including ornamental fish), Christmas tree crops, ginseng, ornamental nursery an turfgrass sod.

USDA provides $26 million in relief to lamb producers

Signup began April 8, for U.S. Department of Agriculture incentive payments to help ewe lamb producers suffering financial losses due to current poor market conditions.

The Lamb Meat Adjustment Assistance Program is a four-year program started in 2000 to help stabilize the lamb market. To date, LMAAP has provided over $25 million in assistance. The program will now provide $26 million in incentive payments to help producers increase the supply of domestic lamb meat.

Applications are available at USDA Service Centers. the incentive payments have two application periods. Applications for the first period (year 3), which lasts from Aug. 1, 2001, through July 31, 2002, are due by Aug. 15. Applications for the second period (year 4), which lasts from Aug. 1, 2002, through July 31, 2003, are due by Aug. 15, 2003.

To be eligible, producers must purchase or retain a ewe lamb to expand the sheep herd from Aug. 1, 2001, through July 31, 2003. The producer must also certify that each ewe lamb:

* is not older than 18 months of age,

* has not produced an offspring

* does not possess characteristics of parrot mouth, foot rot or scarpie, and

* is identified according to state identification requirements that comply with a USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service approved scarpie program for interstate movement.

Payments will be $18 per ewe lamb, subject to the availability of funds. If application amounts exceed the funding limit of $26 million, USDA will prorate payments. Funds not utilized during the first application period will be carried forward to the next year.

The LMAAP final rule was published in the Federal Register on March 26. Further information on program restric- tions, eligibility requirements and other LMAAP payments is available from local USDA Service Centers and on FSA's Web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

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