Carl Schweikhardt is the one who deals directly with the farm bill programs in the Indiana Farm Service Agency office. He passes concerns he picks up from working with the programs to Julia Wickard, state director of the Indiana Farm Service Agency. Lately his message has been simple.
He's telling her he's not seen enough sign-up activity yet from farmers concerning the 2014 Farm Bill. It requires you to update yields and relocate bases by Feb. 27 if you desire to do so.
"We're somewhat concerned that farmers are waiting longer than we expected to come in and work with staff to figure out their updates bases and yields, if they're going to choose to do so," Schweikhardt says.
With Purdue University recommending that updating yields could be a major improvement for many people, the fact that most haven't yet down so is somewhat concerning, he adds.
The program is complex, so it's not one you want to let go to the last minute before you begin to work through the process of completing it, he says. He is not expecting extensions that would allow bases to be reallocated or yields to be updated after the Feb. 27 deadline.
There is only a little more than six weeks before yield and reallocation issues must be decided, he adds. And remember that landowners are required to sign off on these documents. If your landowner is out of state, unless you have power of attorney for them, you will have to make arrangements to get their signatures on the proper documents ahead of the Feb. 27 deadline.
One farmer we contacted says he has just been putting it off because he hears it is a complicated process. With two offices to visit and a number of farms to handle, he realizes that they can't wait much longer to begin making decisions.