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New acreage reporting requirements and cover crop information

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[October 29, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive director for USDA's Illinois Farm Service Agency, reminds producers of the new acreage reporting requirements for fall-seeded small grains, forage crops, apples and peaches.

Producers of perennial forage crops (grass, hay, alfalfa and pasture) and fall-seeded small grains (wheat, rye and barley) must submit a 2013 acreage report for these crops by Dec. 15. Producers of apples and peaches must submit a 2013 acreage report for these crops by Jan. 15. These are also the same dates for these crops to be reported to your crop insurance agent when carrying federal crop insurance. For the 2013 crop year only, late-filing fees will not be assessed if reported by June 30.

In prior years, reports for these crops were not due to the Farm Service Agency until later in the spring and summer. This change is part of an initiative at the national level to align acreage reporting dates between the Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency.

All acreage uses must be reported for a farm, including crops on non-cropland, such as hayed or grazed grassland, and other cover crops. It is also important to accurately report intended use of crops. Intended use is used to determine eligibility in many FSA programs and cannot be revised once reported.

Also, FSA often receives requests for information about how farmers and ranchers protect the soil and water resources of our nation.

"Producers with cover crops or other crops which protect the soil through the winter months should be recognized for their contribution to a better environment," said Giamanco.

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"This year demonstrates the importance of cover crops. These crops will protect the soil from erosion and hold valuable moisture through the winter months, as well as being a source of feed or bedding for livestock," said Giamanco. "In addition to holding moisture, these crops hold any available nitrogen for next year's crop instead of letting it slip away into our streams."

Producers should contact their local FSA county office if they are uncertain about reporting deadlines. In order to meet FSA program eligibility requirements, producers must submit timely filed acreage reports. Reports filed after the established deadlines must meet certain requirements to be accepted, and producers may be charged late-filing fees.

For more information on FSA crop reporting requirements and other programs, visit your local FSA office or visit

[Text from file received from Illinois Farm Service Agency]

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