FSA Notes By Keith L. Zanter
Clay County FSA Office FSA announces changes in Commodity Loan Program Effective Dec. 8, all USDA/Farm Service Agency Offices will no longer be permitted to issue checks when a producer places their grain under loan to Commodity Credit Corporation. If a producer plans to obtain a CCC Price Support Loan, they will visit their local FSA Office where all required paperwork will be processed. When all necessary paperwork is completed, the local FSA Office will notify the Kansas City Computer Center and the loan payment will be made. If the producers' loan check is to be made jointly to the producer and a lien holder, the payment process will take between seven to 10 business days. If the producer has no lien holders, the payment process should take two to three days. This announcement is being made to alert those producers who normally utilize the CCC Price Support Loan Program that procedure has changed. Given the time frames FSA will be operating under, producers should adjust their CCC loan requests in ample time to allow for the producer to receive the loan funds when they need them. For further information contact the Clay County FSA Office in Vermillion at 605-624-7060, Ext. 2. USDA to conduct request for referendum on Pork Checkoff Program The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) will conduct a Request for Referendum for eligible producers and importers of hogs, pigs, pork, and pork products to determine if they want a referendum on the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order, commonly known as the Pork Checkoff Program. Participation is voluntary, and only individuals who desire a referendum on the Pork Checkoff Program should participate. USDA will only conduct a referendum on the order if at least 15 percent of the total number of eligible pork producers and importers request a referendum. The total number of producers and importers eligible to participate in the Request for Referendum is approximately 69,446; therefore at least 10,417 eligible producers and importers must request a referendum. If necessary, the referendum will be conducted within one year after the results of the Request for Referendum are announced. If results of the Request for Referendum indicate that a referendum is not supported, a referendum would not be conducted. The Request for Referendum will be held Dec. 8 through Jan. 2, 2009. Producers and importers who were engaged in pork production or in the importation of hogs, pigs, pork, or pork products between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2007, and were at least 18 years of age on or before Dec. 31, 2007, are eligible to participate. For producers, the Request for Referendum will be conducted at the USDA County Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices where their administrative farm records are maintained. For producers not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to participate will be provided at the County FSA office where the person owns or rents land. Eligible producers may obtain form LS-54-1: Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Request for Referendum, from those offices either in person, by mail or by facsimile. Forms may also be obtained at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSMarketingPrograms. In order to vote, Form LS-54-1 and supporting documentation, such as a sales receipt, veterinary bill, feed bill, copies of grower contracts, cancelled check or proof of payment must be returned in person, by mail, or by facsimile to the appropriate county FSA office by the close of business Jan. 2, 2009.