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Articles from 2012 In November


Corn+Soybean Digest

Flexible Cash Lease Overview

As the use of flexible cash leases grows, Kent Thiesse, vice president, MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, Minn., and former Extension educator, offers an overview of flexible leases, pointing out that a true flexible lease rate can go up or down. He encourages farmers to figure out what makes sense for their farm, and to put the plan in writing and have good communication with their landlords. 

Arizona Veg IPM Update: pest pressure, plant pathogen resistance to fungicides, weed seeds

Arizona Veg IPM Update: pest pressure, plant pathogen resistance to fungicides, weed seeds

The Arizona Vegetable Integrated Pest Management Update from the University of Arizona (UA) Cooperative Extension in Yuma, Ariz. released Nov. 29, 2012.

Pest pressure on 2012 desert produce, melon crops

By John Palumbo, UA research scientist and Extension specialist

At a recent meeting, I made the statement that insect pest pressure on produce and melons crops in the Yuma area this fall was as heavy as I have seen it in many years.

This comment was largely based on my observations on and off the Yuma Agricultural Center (YAC), plus from anecdotal reports from pest control advisers and growers. This claim is further supported by a quick analysis of recent and historic data on pest abundance recorded from our research plots in the Yuma area.

Whitefly adult numbers on fall melons and produce were extremely high. My untreated melon plots at the YAC wilted and died rapidly as a direct result of heavy whitefly feeding.

Captures of whiteflies on yellow sticky traps placed near cantaloupe fields in the Wellton, Tacna, and Texas Hill areas were twice as high compared to the last five years. The incidence of cucurbit stunting disorder virus incidence in cantaloupe fields in this area was also higher in 2012.

Similarly, worm pressure - particularly the beet armyworm and cabbage looper - was higher than the last six or seven years. Populations began infesting plots in early September. Egg deposition and larval development remained steady through October.

In fact, worm numbers were three times higher this year compared to last fall.

Corn earworm was present in higher numbers than observations in past years.

Bagrada bug infestations were the highest seen at the YAC since the invasive stinkbug first showed up in Yuma in 2009. A low-to-moderate population appeared in early September, reached very high levels by mid-September, and peaked in early October.

Observed numbers were much higher than the population last season, and slightly higher than 2010.

Infestation levels in untreated broccoli plots this year were at damaging levels throughout October.

In contrast, thrips population numbers have been low, relative to normal this time of the year.

I have not picked up winged aphids or colonies on lettuce thus far.

I am unsure how this translates to potential population pressure in January and February. Growers and PCAs should anticipate an arrival as usual.

I have been asked why pest pressure was relatively heavy this year. The answer is I really don’t know. It could be the heavy monsoon moisture in July and August had an influence.

Insect abundance is dictated by many abiotic and biotic factors in the cropping system. It is nearly impossible to consider all factors necessary to draw a reliable conclusion.

Nonetheless, graphics showing these recent trends in whitefly, CYSDV, lep larvae, and Bagrada abundance can be found at Pest Abundance on Desert Produce and Melon Cops in 2012.

Click this link to Listen to John.

“Remember, when in doubt - scout.”

Contact Palumbo: (928) 782-3836 or jpalumbo@ag.arizona.edu.

Plant pathogen resistance to fungicides

By Mike Matheron, UA Extension Plant Pathologist

Plant pathogens are similar to other living organisms in a degree of genetic variability within the genes which govern physical structure and internal biochemical activities. Any selection pressure imposed on an organism population can result in visible and invisible changes within the population.

Selective breeding is a tool used to express the genetic diversity within a population of an organism, as demonstrated by the proliferation of dog breeds or varieties of agricultural crops when compared to original ancestral forms.

Other selection pressures can result in unwanted changes within a population, including the development of resistance to antibiotics to treat animal diseases and to plant health chemistries to treat plant diseases.

In the Yuma area, plant health products are used primarily against diseases caused by fungi.

Specific recommendations have been established by an organization called the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee or FRAC to manage the development of fungicide resistance within a target plant pathogen population.

These resistance management strategies include:

1 - Do not use a single mode of action in isolation. Apply the material as a mixture or in alternation with one or more fungicides with different modes of action within a treatment program.

2 - Restrict the number of applications of a particular mode-of-action within a season. Make applications only when necessary.

3 - Do not apply less than the manufacturer’s recommended dose.

4 - Target fungicide applications for disease prevention and not eradication.

5 - Use an integrated approach to disease management.

By employing these resistance management strategies and disease-resistant cultivars, biological control agents, crop rotation, and other beneficial cultural practices, the end result can be a high level of disease control, lower amounts of needed fungicides, and decreased selection of fungicide-resistant components within the pathogen population.

Click link to listen to Mike's Update.

Contact Matheron: (928) 726-6856 or matheron@ag.arizona.edu.

Weed seeds

By Barry Tickes, UA Area Agriculture Agent

A long term weed management strategy should focus on reducing the reservoir of weed seed in the soil. This can be very difficult since the characteristics of weed seed allow survival.

These strategy efforts include seed numbers, seed dormancy, longevity, the ability to disperse, and rapid establishment.

Seed numbers: A major characteristic which allows weeds to survive is sheer numbers. Most are extremely prolific. The number of seeds produced per plant and by species is extremely variable.

Examples include: canary grass - 10,000 to 30,000 seeds per plant; sowthistle – 15,000 to 20,000; purslane - 50,000 to 75,000; goosefoot - 70,000 to 100,000; and pigweed- 115,000 to 200,000.

When weeds are allowed to produce mature seeds, they are deposited back into the soil and build up year after year.

Longevity: Fall weed seeds germinated at the same time control would be much easier to control. They don’t. Some germinate today, others next week, and on and on for up to 40 years for some species. Characteristics which facilitate this include physical traits, including hard seed coating and some are biochemical.

Ability to disperse: Many weed seeds have characteristics which allow the seeds to fly, float, and attach. Sandbur, burclover, puncturevine, and others are notorious for the ability to attach to just about anything.

In fact, cocklebur was the inspiration for the development of Velcro.

Some weed seeds fly with structures which resemble parachutes (sowthistle, groundsel, and other composites), gliders (some clovers and trees including ash, maple, and box elder). Other species have structures which allow floating on water. Curley dock, for instance, has a bladder which helps it stay afloat in irrigation and drainage water.

Rapid establishment: Many weed seeds germinate rapidly before, during, or after the crop seed has germinated. Rapid establishment allows some species to be well established before the crop emerges.

Click this link to listen to Barry.

Contact Tickes: (928) 580-9902 or btickes@ag.arizona.edu.

CLICK HERE to check our Veg IPM Video Archive.

Food industry taking steps to soften impact of 2012 drought on consumers

Consumers appear to be better educated about the impact of the 2012 drought on crop yields and livestock numbers and are taking actions to try to lessen the pain of the weather-related food price increases, a food industry expert says.

“You probably have the best educated consumer right now about the issues and food price increases,” says Andrew Harig, director of government relations, Food Marketing Institute. “If you go on media websites, including even small town newspapers, you’ll see they’ve done dozens and dozens of articles on the drought from April on.

“So you have a consumer who is a little bit frightened of what’s going to happen and is expecting to see big changes,” said Harig, a participant in the Penton Media webinar “What’s Ahead: Gauging the Drought’s Impact Into 2013” that was held on Thursday Nov. 29.

One of the lessons learned in 2008, when the runup in food prices was higher than it has been in 2012, was that consumers “want to feel like a partner with their retailer, and I think it applies to restaurants, to know what’s going on,” Harig notes. “We’ve worked hard as an industry and as an association to make sure consumers do understand why they’re going to see increases.”

Retailers are also locking in prices on staples to try to lessen the impact and stepping up the use of social media for coupons and price deals and increasing fuel reward programs. “I think we saw in 2008 that fuel prices and food prices often operate in tandem so retailers are making more use of these programs.”

Harig was joined by Corrine Alexander, an agricultural economist with Purdue University, and John Barone, president of Market Vision Inc. The webinar was presented by Penton’s Corn and Soybean Digest, SuperMarket News and National Restaurant News.

Climbing corn prices have led protein producers to use 10 percent less feed, said Alexander. Farmers have been raising fewer animals, bringing lighter-weight animals to slaughter and finding different feed sources such as imported corn, barley and even expired Oreo cookies.

If there is a good corn crop next year, Alexander expects expanded chicken production by late 2013, pork in the second half of 2014 and cattle production in 2016. More protein production would bring down wholesale prices.

“How much [corn] we grow next summer is absolutely essential,” said Alexander.

Harig said the impact of agriculture performance on retail prices depends on the food product. Commodity prices make up 10 percent of bread’s retail cost, but 50 percent of beef’s retail price.

Prices were already heading up before the drought, Harig said, pointing to consistent overall food inflation due to a growing global demand, fuel prices, biofuel production and climate change.

Harig’s FMI found that the recession has encouraged 55 percent of customers — even those with high-incomes — to plan” to live with less” in the future.

“So you’ve had this upward pressure, and unfortunately in 2008, you had consumers really battered by the recession.”

Due to a smaller variety of products offered in restaurants than in supermarkets, John Barone, president of Market Vision, said protein price spikes are going to impact the restaurant industry more. For example, the popularity of burger joints will cause ground beef increases to do more damage.

“On the restaurant industry side, I think 2013 is going to be a difficult year.”

To see the webinar, click on http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=544157&s=1&k=1992352F86C743E26A33C54918788CAE

  

‘Sustainable fish’ sounds a bit fishy to me

‘Sustainable fish’ sounds a bit fishy to me

A fellow politely, yet sternly confronted me at the California Association of Pest Control Advisers conference in Anaheim. He got in my face with the admonition, “Don’t call organics sustainable.”

OK. I won’t, if I ever did before.

I once liked the word sustainable, but it has been so overused, misused and shanghaied to describe just about anything, that it has become unsustainable — not to mention an indefinable term.

Wikipedia defines sustainability as “the capacity to endure through renewal, maintenance, and sustenance, or nourishment, in contrast to durability, the capacity to endure through unchanging resistance to change. For humans in social systems or ecosystems, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse, robust, and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms.”

Huh?

Wading through that is like trying to get the ingredients to a culinary dish by just eating it. Although there are words in it often used to describe good farming like “stewardship, renewal and responsible management,” it’s still mumbo-jumbo.

There’s the insufferable three-legged sustainability stool; economically, environmentally and community or is it economical, environmental and social or is it people, plant and economy or is it....?

Never did like three-legged stools. They have a tendency to become wobbly when you try to settle on them.

The fellow’s rebuke was still ringing in my head several hours later as I went to dinner with friends at a fancy, white-tablecloth restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel.

I opened the menu with an initial gasp at the prices. (Mickey and his friends are high maintenance.) I scrolled down the selections and stopped at “Sustainable Fish.”

There it was. Not a fish species. Not mahi-mahi, not salmon, not sea bass, not even tilapia. Just “fish.” It was the “sustainable” species.

I was tempted to order it just to see what a “sustainable fish” looked like.

Foundering on fine China plate with parsley garnishing and lemon wedges to me is dead fish, not very sustainable. Whether the cook grilled it, broiled it or sauteed it, it was long past the sustainable stage.

How do you identify a dead, sustainable fish? Poke it with a fork to see if it wiggles? Sniff it? If it’s fishy smelling, is it still sustainable? If it smells OK, is it sustainable? I was tempted to ask the servers if it was a three-legged stool fish. I doubt he had a leg to stand on to answer that question.

Where did the “sustainable fish” get its sustainable credentials? Did it come from a sustainable stream, sustainable ocean or a sustainable fish farm?

I deliberated on the “sustainable fish” but decided to order an indefinable, non-politically correct steak that was probably fed genetically modified corn, maybe GMO soybeans or Roundup Ready alfalfa. As I enjoyed the beef, I continued searching for another term to describe organic. For fear of getting unwarranted indigestion, I decided farming sounds good for organic or otherwise.

Dust Bowl memories forever linger for landowner

Dust Bowl memories forever linger for landowner

“You couldn’t see. You couldn’t breathe. You couldn’t go outside for days,” remembers Eugene Littlefield. “It was awful.”

Littlefield is referring to the giant black clouds of soil that would blot out the sun and swallow the countryside. Born in Wayside, Texas, in 1934, Littlefield was welcomed into the world by the Dust Bowl – an era in the 1930s when the most massive, brutal dust storms ever known to our nation repeatedly ravaged the Panhandle and Great Plains regions.

Littlefield was the only child of parents who raised cattle, wheat and sorghum on their farm 20 miles east of Happy, Texas, in the now-extinct community of Wayside.  

“We could see those storms coming over the horizon,” Littlefield says. “The dirt would blow in your face and hit your skin so hard it hurt. Dad would get our animals in the best shelter he could, while my mom started packing the windows with rolled wet towels and hung sheets to try to keep dirt out.

“It still didn’t work,” he says, shaking his head at the fury and intensity of the storms. “Fine sand would get in our food no matter how well we protected it. It would get behind the wallpaper in our house. Our white sheets on the bed would turn brown.

“Mother would light kerosene lamps and you could barely see them for the brown haze around them,” he adds.

He recounts his family having to use a bucket for the bathroom because they couldn’t go outside to the outhouse. His dad had a rope tied from the house to the barn so if there was even the slightest reprieve in the raging storm he could go check on the animals. He says no matter how hard you tried to protect your equipment or vehicles, the fine sand would penetrate the carburetors and wind up in fuel lines, rendering equipment inoperable until it could be repaired.

“I remember coming outside after the storms and you couldn’t find things,” he says.”You could see, but you still felt disoriented because the landscape would look so different. Tumble weeds would blow against the fences and get trapped, then the dirt would just pile up in them to the point it would bury the fence so deep in dirt you couldn’t see it. Entire plows could get buried and only the levers would be visible.”

Soil exposed to erosion

Farming practices contributed to the blowing dust. Plowing up native grasslands across the Great Plains left vast stretches of soil exposed to drought and wind.  The 1930s mark a decade of the worst drought in U.S. history. Planted seeds would shrivel and die in the ground before they could ever sprout.  With no plants to trap the soil or moisture, the parched dirt turned to powder that was easily carried away by wind.

This loss of land and crops only further deepened the effects of the Great Depression, to the point that by 1933 more than 11,000 of the nation’s 25,000 banks had failed and unemployment was at a record high 25 percent.

The Dust Bowl affected 100 million acres, centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. In December 1935, experts estimated that 850 million tons of topsoil had been blown off the Plains that year alone. The drought would linger four more years until rain finally brought relief in the fall of 1941.

Hard work preparing the land and planting the crops was met with years and years of crop failure. With no crops to harvest and no grass for livestock to eat on their Swisher County farm, the Littlefields struggled, along with so many others, just desperate to survive.

“We were excited when my dad got a job with the Civilian Conservation Corps to help build a road across Palo Duro Canyon,” Littlefield remembers. “But when they found out he was selling milk from our milk cow to the neighbors, they considered that a job and let him go so they could hire someone else that was unemployed.”

During this time there was one man who was strongly convinced he had a plan to keep so much of America’s top soil from blowing away.

In 1928, while working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a chemist with the Bureau of Soils, Hugh Hammond Bennett wrote about the ongoing soil erosion issue in a government report. 

“To visualize the full enormity of land impairment and devastation brought about by this ruthless agent is beyond the possibility of the mind. An era of land wreckage destined to weigh heavily upon the welfare of the next generation is at hand,” he wrote.

Through his experience with soil surveys, Bennett realized the effects of soil erosion and the negative impacts it had on agriculture.  His persistent admonition about the devastation of farmland that was occurring across the nation’s landscape led Congress to establish the USDA’s Soil Conservation Service (SCS), now known as Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Establishment of SCS

The establishment of the SCS marked the beginning of federal funding and natural resource education to landowners, especially farmers. States established state soil conservation agencies and procedures whereby local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) could be formed in counties across the U.S. SCS assistance was delivered at the direction of the local SWCD board, made up of five landowners from across the county.

The agency employees would hold workshops and in some cases go door-to-door to educate farmers on soil conservation and anti-erosion techniques, including crop rotation, strip farming, contour plowing, terracing and other beneficial farming practices. The agency provided financial incentives to help farmers offset the costs of adopting some of these practices.

Littlefield remembers the local SWCD presenting a film about soil erosion at his Wayside Grade School.

“I remember the conservation service men coming by to teach us how to put nutrients back in the soil by rotating our crops,” Littlefield says. “We planted rows of trees, a shelterbelt, to act as a windbreak for our fields. We started terracing our fields to hold the water better. It made a big difference.”

The land care lessons his family and others received in the 1930s paid off in the 1950s when another historic drought had America’s farmland in its grip.

“The SCS helped us know how to take care of our land, even in hard times,” Littlefield says. “They taught us about strip till farming and the equipment we needed to farm in better ways. I really feel like the Graham-Hoeme chisel plow saved this country from blowing completely away.”

The plow featured reversible chisel points that were used for erosion control and primary tillage. Special "low-crown" 16-inch-wide sweeps were developed for shallow weed control before planting. The sweeps left about three-quarters of the stubble covering the soil surface, reducing soil dryness and preventing wind erosion. This was one of the first tools available to perform "stubble-mulch" throughout the Great Plains.

Littlefield still owns farm land in Swisher County. As an impressionable child, experiencing first-hand the largest man-made ecological disaster our nation had ever seen made a lasting impression on Littlefield. He wanted to do everything he can to save the soil on his land. He enrolled his farmland, most of it with highly erodible soil, in the USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  Participating as a SWCD cooperator, he worked with the NRCS to develop a conservation plan and proper management for his CRP.

When his CRP contract expired in 2011, Littlefield immediately enrolled it in the USDA’s State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program, administered by FSA, with NRCS providing technical assistance and conservation planning advice. In the SAFE program, Littlefield relies on NRCS to help remove the existing introduced bluestem grass to prepare the acres for planting native plants to improve wildlife habitat for such threatened and endangered candidate species as the Lesser Prairie-Chicken.

“Seeing what I saw growing up as a boy on our farm, I have witnessed the positive effects over 70 years of conservation efforts have had on our land,” Littlefield says. “I am now proud to say I am a landowner that is making a difference for the environment, and in the process, I hope to be able to help the prairie chicken populations.”

Bennett, known as the Father of Conservation, perhaps said it best: “Farmers have only temporary control over their land. It can be theirs for a lifetime and no longer. The public's interest, however, goes on and on, endlessly, if nations are to endure....”

USDA scientists, cooperators sequence the wheat genome in breakthrough for global food security

USDA scientists, cooperators sequence the wheat genome in breakthrough for global food security

USDA scientists working as part of an international team have completed a shotgun sequencing of the wheat genome, a paper published in the journal Nature reported today. The achievement is expected to increase wheat yields, help feed the world and speed up development of wheat varieties with enhanced nutritional value.

"By unlocking the genetic secrets of wheat, this study and others like it give us the molecular tools necessary to improve wheat traits and allow our farmers to produce yields sufficient to feed growing populations in the United States and overseas," said Catherine Woteki, USDA's Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. "Genetics provides us with important methods that not only increase yields, but also address the ever-changing threats agriculture faces from natural pests, crop diseases and changing climates."

Olin Anderson and Yong Gu, scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) based at the agency's Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., played instrumental roles in the sequencing effort, along with Naxin Huo, a post-doctoral researcher working in Gu's laboratory. All three are co-authors of the Nature paper.

ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and the work supports the USDA goal of ensuring global food security.

As the world's largest agricultural research institute, USDA is focused on reducing global hunger by increasing global cooperation and collaboration on research strategies and their implementation. For example, through the U.S. government's Feed the Future initiative, USDA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are coordinating their research portfolio with ongoing work of other donors, multilateral institutions, and government and non-government entities at the country level to effectively improve agricultural productivity, reduce food insecurity and generate economic opportunity.

Grown on more land area than any other commercial crop, wheat is the world's most important staple food, and its improvement has vast implications for global food security. The work to complete the shotgun sequencing of the wheat genome will help to improve programs on breeding and adaptation in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa for wheat crops that could be drought tolerant and resistant to weeds, pests and diseases.

ARS is one of nine institutions with researchers who contributed to the study. The lead authors are based in the United Kingdom and were funded by the British-based Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Funding also was provided by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA. NIFA focuses on investing in research, education and extension programs to help solve critical issues impacting people's daily lives.

The study represents the most detailed examination to date of the DNA that makes up the wheat genome, a crop domesticated thousands of years ago. The wheat genome is five times the size of the human genome, giving it a complexity that makes it difficult to study. The researchers used the whole genome shotgun sequencing approach, which essentially breaks up the genome into smaller, more workable segments for analysis and then pieces them together.

Another international team of scientists is working on a long-term project expected to result in more detailed sequencing results of the wheat genome in the years ahead. But the results published today shed light on wheat's DNA in a way that will help breeders develop hardier varieties by linking genes to key traits, such as disease resistance and drought tolerance.

Wheat evolved from three ancient grasses, and the ARS team, working closely with partners at University of California, Davis, sequenced the genome of one of those three parents, Aegilops tauschii. That sequencing, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, was instrumental in the study. It allowed researchers to identify the origins of many of the genes found in modern-day wheat, a key step in linking genes to traits and developing markers for use in breeding new varieties.

Wheat growers face numerous challenges each year. Acidity in the soil can make wheat difficult to grow in some areas. Stem rust, a fungal disease, can wipe out entire crops, and a particularly aggressive form of stem rust has developed the ability to knock out genetic resistance in many popular wheat varieties and is causing major losses overseas.

USDA scientists have conducted similar genomic studies that have helped to increase the productivity of dairy operations, enhance cattle breeding and improve on varieties of a number of other crops, including tomatoes, corn and soybean. In 2010, another ARS team published a paper in Nature detailing the sequencing of Brachypodium distachyon, a model plant used to study wheat, barley and biofuel crops.

Recent international research collaborations have been critical to meet challenges such as combating wheat rust and increasing wheat productivity, fighting aflatoxin contamination in food, and sequencing genomes of important crops.

The Nature paper can be found at: www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7426/full/nature11650.html.

Risk Management Agency announces 2013 crop insurance adjustments

USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced crop insurance premium rate adjustments for 2013 crops including rice. The adjustments are the result of a multi-year review of RMA's rating methodologies. For rice, the overall premium reduction is 8 percent, but the changes vary by state and from county to county within a state. The largest decreases are in California and Louisiana at 14 percent; while Texas is 12 percent; Mississippi 11 percent; Arkansas 4 percent; and Missouri has an increase of 1 percent.

"U.S. rice producers appreciate the diligence of RMA to review and adjust crop insurance premium rates to better reflect risks," said Joe Mencer, USA Rice Crop Insurance Task Force chairman and Arkansas producer. "An overall decrease in premium rates for rice policies is welcome news to rice producers and a great benefit to our industry. We feel that this will help encourage more participation and increase coverage levels."

Further background on the rate adjustment process and maps showing the state-by-state changes for all crops is available here.

Farm Service Agency Conservation loans available

USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Chief Eddie Trevino announced that funds are now available for Guaranteed Conservation Loans. Conservation loans allow farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices on their land that will help protect natural resources.

"Guaranteed Conservation Loans are a useful alternative to help operators implement any Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) approved conservation practice including, but not limited to, waste management systems, conservation structures or water conservation measures," said Trevino.

Unlike other FSA guaranteed loan programs, Conservation Loans are not limited to family size farms. Operators who may not normally qualify for an FSA guaranteed farm operating or ownership loan could be eligible for a Guaranteed Conservation Loan.

According to Trevino, the Guaranteed Conservation Loan limit is $1,302,000 and interest rates and terms will vary. The maximum guarantee FSA can issue is 75 percent.

A streamlined application process is available for applicants with strong financial positions. The streamlined process reduces paperwork requirements and eliminates the requirement to provide a cash flow statement and supplementary documentation.

Interested applicants who do notalready have a conservation plan approved by NRCS should work with local NRCS staff to develop a conservation plan. As with other guarantees, lenders can reduce risk, increase liquidity and offer lower rates by selling the guaranteed portion in the secondary market.

For questions regarding Guaranteed Conservation Loans, please contact your lender or your local FSA Office.