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Farm Service Agency News

04/25/2012 08:57 AM EDT


For Immediate Release
April 24, 2012 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Florida/Virgin Islands Farm Service Agency
PO Box 141030
Gainesville, Florida 32614-1030
USDA Announces 2012 County Loan Rates for Wheat, Feed Grains and Oilseeds


WASHINGTON, April 24, 2012 — The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced county loan rates for the 2012 crops of wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans and other oilseeds (sunflower seed, flaxseed, canola, rapeseed, safflower, mustard seed, crambe and sesame seed). The rates are posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport.


The 2008 Farm Bill authorizes the national loan rates for the 2012 crops of wheat, feed grains and oilseeds at these levels:


Wheat $2.94 per bushel
Corn $1.95 per bushel
Grain Sorghum $1.95 per bushel
Barley $1.95 per bushel
Oats $1.39 per bushel
Soybeans $5.00 per bushel
Other Oilseeds $10.09 per hundredweight for each “other oilseed”
04/25/2012 09:30 AM EDT
For Immediate Release
April 24, 2012 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Florida/Virgin Islands Farm Service Agency
PO Box 141030
Gainesville, Florida 32614-1030
USDA Designates 3 Counties in Florida as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Georgia


WASHINGTON, April 24, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Hendry, Nassau and Palm Beach counties in Florida as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by frost and freezing temperatures that occurred Jan 3-16, 2012.


“Assistance at this point and time is critically important for producers in Florida to help keep their farmland healthy for the remainder of the year,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I realize that during this time of disaster, federal assistance will be needed until conditions improve and farmers strive to recover from their losses.”


Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Florida also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:


Baker Broward Charlotte Collier
Duval Glades Lee Martin


Farmers and ranchers in Charlton and Camden counties in Georgia also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their county is contiguous.


All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas April 20, 2012, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.


USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.


Secretary Vilsack also reminds producers that the department’s authority to operate the five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, 2011. This includes SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Production losses in the counties listed above are covered because the event triggering the loss occurred prior to the expiration of these programs; however, production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.
04/25/2012 11:40 AM EDT
Emergency Conservation Program Sign-up for Carroll County 

August 27 through August 29, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene caused flash flooding, high water and damage to cropland and fences in Carroll County. Farms suffering severe land damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Coos-Carroll Farm Service Agency County Office in Lancaster, NH. Sign-up for ECP will run from April 25 – May 25, 2012.


Producers suffering damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by FSA. Qualifying damage includes damage that would:
be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use be unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area affect the productive capacity of the farmland impair or endanger the land
A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the average eligible cost of restoration measures. The following types of measures may be eligible:
removing debris from farmland grading, shaping, releveling, or similar measures restoration of permanent fences

Producers who have suffered damage to their land due to Tropical Storm Irene may contact the Coos-Carroll County FSA Office at 4 Mayberry Lane, Lancaster, NH 03584 or call 603-788-4602 (ext 2).
04/25/2012 11:53 AM EDT
Alex Dubish

FSA Allocates an Additional 400,000 Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative


SAINT PAUL, MINN., April 25, 2012 – USDA Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Linda Hennen today announced that FSA has allocated an additional 400,000 acres nationwide to the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program that improves habitat for high-priority wildlife species.


“SAFE is a voluntary conservation initiatives that provides an opportunity for grassroots conservation partners to develop related projects to address high priority wildlife needs through habitat restoration,” said Hennen.


SAFE project area proposals are being accepted for the purpose of improving habitat for the designated wildlife species in new areas as well as possibly expanding current SAFE project areas by requesting additional acreage. SAFE project sponsors must submit all project proposals as soon as possible for the State Technical Committee to complete the proposal review process.


The Minnesota FSA State Committee will complete the final review and submit recommended proposals to the National FSA Office for final evaluation no later than June 1, 2012.


Various conservation practices currently offered under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are fine-tuned through the SAFE proposal to improve, connect or create higher-quality wildlife habitats by promoting healthier ecosystems in the project areas identified as essential to the effective management of high priority wildlife species.


Hennen added, “Once a project proposal is approved and acreage allocated, the SAFE program is implemented through a continuous CRP signup allowing USDA to accept producer acreage offers year-round.”


As with other Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) initiatives, the land and producer must meet certain eligibility requirements. Once approval of the SAFE project is announced, interested landowners can submit offers to voluntarily enroll qualifying acres in a SAFE project/CRP contract for a term of 10 to 15 years. In exchange, SAFE/CRP program participants receive annual rental payments, project incentives and cost-share assistance to establish habitat-enhancing natural covers on eligible land.
04/25/2012 01:21 PM EDT
2012 DCP/ACRE Sign Up Ends June 1st! 

April 25, 2012- USDA Rhode Island Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director Ingrid Fratantuono reminds producer’s enrollment for Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program or the traditional Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) ends June 1st.
“Farmers in Rhode Island who are interested in enrolling in these programs need to add this important deadline to their list of ‘must do’ jobs,” Fratantuono said. “Producers should contact their local county office to enroll.” Annual contracts are required to be signed to receive program benefits.

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