1 August 2008 Tulare County News Tulare County USDA Service Center Tulare County FSA 3530 W. Orchard Ct Visalia, CA 93277 559-734-8732 Ext 2 (ph) 559-732-2805 (fax) www.fsa.usda.gov Hours Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
County Committee Charlie Pitigliano, Jr. Tom Gruber Mark Heuer Robert Sepeda, Advisor County Committee meets 4th Thursday of the Month Staff Becky Garcia, CPT Theresa Barajas, PT Mitzi Lankford, PT Angie Lasswell, PT Yvonne Newman, PT Danielle Parreira, PT Slade Childers, PT Kelly Solis, PT Lorraine Wilson, PT Dan Jackson, FLO Kaye Rydberg, CED Bob Pearson, FLM NOTICE: 2008 Disaster Programs Requires Crop Insurance or NAP Eligibility cBuy-In d Deadline is September 16, 2008 The recently-enacted Farm Bill legislates 2008 disaster programs covering losses to crops, trees/vines/bushes, forage, and other losses due to adverse weather. These programs require the crops you planted, grew, produced or were prevented from planting to have been covered by federal crop insurance or FSA 9s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).
All of your crops on all of your acreage must be covered, not only those acres that suffered losses. Due to the late passage of the Farm Bill in May, you will be given an opportunity to cbuy-in d ... more. less.
to the disaster program by paying a $100/crop catastrophic crop insurance or NAP service fee for any 2008 crops that are not already covered by crop insurance or NAP. This eligibility cbuy-in d must be completed by September 16, 2008 at your FSA Office to satisfy the requirement for total CI / NAP coverage.<br><br> Note that it does not provide you with crop insur- ance indemnities or NAP benefits. Once this requirement is met, you may be eligible for one or more of the following programs: " Supplemental Revenue Program (SURE): Covers crop revenue losses from quantity or quality deficiencies in disaster declared counties, contiguous counties, or in cases where the overall production loss exceeds 50% " Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP): Compensates livestock owners for forage losses due to drought. Additionally, losses due to wildfire will be covered on public lands.<br><br> " Tree Assistance Program (TAP): Provides for partial reimbursement for replanting, sal- vage, pruning, debris removal and land preparation for orchardists and nursery tree growers if losses exceed 15%. " Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (EALHF): Emergency relief to producers of livestock (including horses), honey bees, and farm-raised fish. Covers losses from disasters such as adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires not adequately covered by any other disaster program.<br><br> This program is authorized at the discretion of the Secretary. Another disaster program authorized by the Farm Bill is the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality. This is the only disaster program that does not require crop insurance or NAP coverage.<br><br> Further details of all of these disaster programs, including signup information, will be provided at a later date. Note that additional requirements exist for disaster programs eligibility. Bottom Line: To be eligible for Disaster Programs in 2008, you must pay the fees for the eligibility buy-in at your FSA Office by September 16, 2008.<br><br> Contact your FSA Office for more information. 2 Sign Up Underway for the 2008 DCP Producers have until September 30, 2008 to sign up for the 2008 Direct and Counter- cyclical Payment Program (DCP). Producers can fill out their 2008 DCP contract at any USDA Service Center or Farm Service Agency County Office.<br><br> Sign-up can also be completed online by going to http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/edcp and click- ing on "Access eDCP Service." You can choose payment options, assign crop shares and sign and submit contracts from any com- puter with Internet access. You can also view and print submitted contract options. FSA computes DCP payments using base acres and payment yields established for each farm.<br><br> Eligible producers receive direct pay- ments at rates established by statute regard- less of market prices. For 2008, eligible producers may request to receive an advance payment of 22 percent of the direct payment for each commodity associated with the farm. FSA will issue advance direct payments as soon as practical after enrollment.<br><br> Final direct payments will be issued after Oct. 1, 2008. Counter-cyclical payments vary depending on market prices, and are issued only when the effective price for a commodity is below its tar- get price (which takes into account the direct payment rate, market price and loan rate).<br><br> To be eligible for payments, you must: *share in the risk of producing a crop on base acres enrolled in DCP *file an annual acreage report (2008 deadline is Aug 15, 2008) *comply with conservation and wetland protection requirements *use base acres for agricultural or related activities *protect all base acres from erosion and provide weed control *meet all eligibility requirements Farms planted entirely to fruits/vegetable, in- cluding nut trees, are not eligible. And farms with a collective base of 10.0 acres or less are not eligible. Please call for an appointment!<br><br> New Crop Certification Deadline For 2008, the final crop reporting dates for most crops are being extended to August 15, 2008. Late fees will not be applied if acreage reports are filed by August 15 and all other reporting requirements are met according to 2-CP. Filing an accurate and timely report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, can prevent loss of benefits for a variety of Farm Service Agency programs.<br><br> Farm Reconstitutions In Farm Service Agency terms, farms are con- stituted to group all tracts having the same owner and the same operator under one farm serial number. When changes in ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution 4or recon 4is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation.<br><br> To be effec- tive for the current year, recons must be re- quested by August 1 for farms enrolled in the Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program. If 2008 DCP direct payments have already been issued on the farm, the reconstitution will be effective for 2009 unless the payments are refunded. Also reconstituted farms must re- enroll in the DCP within 30 days , but no later than September 30, 2008 .<br><br> 2005-2007 Quality Loss Crop Disaster Signup Signup for quality losses under the Crop Dis- aster Program (CDP) began on June 23, 2008. Producers can apply for crop quality losses at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The CDP provides benefits to farmers who suffered losses to their 2005-2007 crops from natural disasters and related conditions.<br><br> Pro- ducers who incurred qualifying quantity or quality losses in 2005, 2006 or 2007 may re- ceive benefits for only one of these years. However, producers may apply for benefits for losses to multiple crops as long as the losses occurred in the same crop year. Only producers who obtained crop insurance coverage or coverage under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for the year of loss will be eligible for CDP bene- fits.<br><br> Producers must have suffered quality losses of at least 25 percent to be eligible for CDP Quality Loss. Producers may receive assistance for both quantity and quality losses. However, the total quantity and quality assistance, together with any crop insurance or NAP payment received for the same crop and the value of the crop production not lost, must not exceed 95 percent of the total value of the crop absent the disaster.<br><br> Prevented Planting and/or Failed Acreage 3 For 2008, County Committee may accept re- quests for prevented planting and/or failed acreage, if timely filed by August 15. Farm vis- its will not be required if claims can be verified, and all other requirement are met. FSA Farm Loans The new Farm Bill provides increased limits on loans through FSA 9s Farm Loan Program.<br><br> The maximum loan amount authorized for direct Farm Ownership (FO) loans and direct Operat- ing Loans (OL) has been increased from $200,000 to $300,000. In the FO program, the maximum loan term for the revised down payment pro- gram has been extended from 15 years to 20 years. Changes in the Down Payment Pro- gram mean the required down payment amount has been reduced from 10 percent to 5 percent and interest rates have been re- duced to as low as 1.5% depending on the present FO interest rate.<br><br> This program allows the agency to loan up to 45% of the purchase price with another lender providing 50% of the financing and the applicant contributing 5%. FSA makes both direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain com- mercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution or other lender. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed and supplies.<br><br> The loans can also be used to construct buildings or make farm im- provements. If you're having trouble getting commercial credit, check with your county office staff about a FSA loan. Haying, Grazing CRP Acres FSA has authorized certain acreage enrolled under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to be available for hay and forage after the primary nesting season ends for grass- nesting birds.<br><br> CRP haying and grazing will provide much needed feed and forage while maintaining the conservation benefits from the nation's premier conservation program. Eligible land may not be hayed or grazed until after the end of the primary nesting season. Also, some of the eligible land or forage of the land must be reserved for wildlife and any land that is used under this authority must have a conservation plan.<br><br> In many instances, the re- moval of some of the grass cover will increase the diversity of the stand and provide long- term benefits for wildlife. Further, the most en- vironmentally-sensitive land enrolled in CRP will not be eligible. The land will be subject to a site inspection to ensure compliance with the conservation plan.<br><br> No rental payment re- duction will be assessed on contracts being utilized for this critical use. However, a $75 fee will be charged to process the required contract modification. Signup for interested CRP participants has been ongoing since June 2, 2008, at local FSA offices.<br><br> This modification for critical feed use is only for 2008. All forage use must be completed no later than November 10, 2008. Want Your Newsletter Via E-mail?<br><br> If you use a computer at home or in your farm or ranch operation, you may prefer to receive information via e-mail from your Farm Service Agency. Use the e-mail address below to share your e-mail address if you would like to be added to our e-mail list. We are exploring the option to send the county office newsletter and other information directly to your com- puter.<br><br> To get on our list, send your e-mail ad- dress and full name, address and phone number to email@example.com Note that USDA will not share or sell your e-mail address. Note also that all county FSA newsletters are available on the FSA California website at www.fsa.usda.gov/ca . Beginning and Limited Resource Farmers FSA assists beginning farmers and or mem- bers of socially disadvantaged groups to fi- nance agricultural enterprises.<br><br> Under these designated farm loan programs, FSA can pro- vide financing to eligible applicants through ei- ther direct or guaranteed loans. FSA defines a beginning farmer as a person who: Has operated a farm for not more that 10 years Will materially and substantially partici- pate in the operation of the farm Agrees to participate in a loan assess- ment, borrower training and financial management program sponsored by FSA Does not own a farm in excess of 30 per- cent of the county 9s average size. Each member of an entity must meet the eli- gibility requirements.<br><br> Loan approval is not guaranteed. Additional program information, loan applica- tions, and other materials are available at your local USDA Service Center. You may also visit www.fsa.usda.gov 4 Dates to Remember August 1 County Committee Nomina- tion Deadline August 1 Reconstitution Deadline August 15 2008 Acreage Reports Deadline Sept.<br><br> 16 Disaster Eligibility Buy-In Deadline for 2008 Sept. 30 DCP Deadline Continues CDP 2005-2007 Sign Ups Continues Continuous Conservation Reserve program Visit our Web site at www.fsa.usda.gov/ca The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its program and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or be- cause all or part of an individual 9s income is derived from any public assistance program.<br><br> (Not all prohib- ited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA 9s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).<br><br> USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Tulare County FSA Office 3530 W. Orchard Ct Visalia CA 3277<br><br>