The reporting acreage deadline is Monday (today), July 16 at your local Farm Service Agency office. If you have let this date slip or haven't reported everything that you should, this is the last opportunity. Indiana FSA director Julia Wickard hopes her offices will be busy today if there are still people who have records they need to file.
Timely reporting of acres for all crops and land uses, including prevented and failed acreage, can prevent loss of benefits from a variety of FSA programs, Wickard says. All cropland on your farms must be reported today to receive benefits from the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program . You also need to report to be eligible for the Acreage Crop Revenue Election, known as ACRE, the Marketing Assistance Loan program and Loan Deficiency Payments.
In addition you must report conservation reserve program acreage to receive annual rental payments. Crop-acreage for the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Payments Program must also be reported.
FSA disaster legislation is currently pending as Congress debates the 2012 Farm Bill. However, Wickard reminds Indiana producers that prior disaster programs have required reporting acreage of all crops. This includes pasture and hayland. Her advice is to report these acreages so that if disaster payments are implemented later, you will be eligible if you have suffered a loss.
If you realize you haven't reported everything that applies on your farm, call your FSA office to make sure they can handle your information when you visit the office. The penalty for not filing on time can be severe- it affects your ability to be eligible for FSA program payments.
Wickard is aware of the stress the drought this summer put on both crops and producers. She doesn't want to see someone lose their eligibility for program payments now and later because they simply were so wrapped up in the drought that they forgot to make the visit, she notes. Drought stress is boiling over into stress on people as well.