Although checking with USDA anytime ground is cleared or otherwise
converted is a good business practice, this is especially true for
ground that is considered a wetland or highly erodible. Producers
participating in federal farm programs and any person or entity
considered to be an "affiliated person" of the producer are subject
to regulations pertaining to ground having highly erodible or
"Before heading out with a 'dozer to clear
a fence line or hiring a contractor to drain or fill in wet areas in
a field, it is extremely important that you have consulted with our
staff to ensure these acres are not considered highly erodible or
wetland acres," said Giamanco. "I assure you, the hour or so spent
working with our staff to make sure your plans won't impact these
fragile lands, before you head to the field, will be time well
The Food Security Act of 1985 authorized the conservation
provisions for highly erodible land and wetland to reduce soil loss,
reduce sedimentation, improve water quality, preserve the nation's
wetlands, protect the nation's long-term capacity to produce food
and fiber, and remove incentive for people to produce agricultural
commodities on highly erodible land or converted wetlands.
Highly erodible land is defined as cropland, hayland or pasture
that can erode at excessive rates. These lands contain soils that
have an erodibility index of 8 or more. Wetlands have a predominance
of wet soil types, are inundated or saturated by surface or
groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support
water-tolerant vegetation, and, under normal circumstances, support
a prevalence of such vegetation.
To be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland
conservation provisions, producers must agree, by certifying on
FSA's Form AD-1026, that they:
Will not produce
an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without a
Will not plant an
agricultural commodity on a converted wetland.
Will not convert a wetland to make
possible the production of an agricultural commodity.
Any planned deviation from the agreement having the potential to
convert highly erodible land or wetland acreage, or even land that
may not yet have highly erodible or wetland determinations, requires
that producers update the Form AD-1026. FSA will notify NRCS to
provide technical determinations on highly erodible land or wetland
on the acreage in question.
Giamanco warns that producers participating in FSA and NRCS
programs who are not in compliance with highly erodible land or
wetland conservation compliance provisions are not eligible to
receive benefits for most programs administered by both agencies.
And, if a producer has received program benefits and is later found
to be noncompliant, he or she would be required to refund all
payments received and may be assessed liquidated damages.
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"We realize that between harvest and planning for the 2014
planting season, producers get busy, but I can't stress enough the
importance that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed before
converting land for production. This includes former Conservation
Reserve Program ground," Giamanco said. "Bottom line... when in
doubt, stop by your local USDA Service Center, and you'll leave with
peace of mind, knowing that your eligibility for farm program
benefits is not at risk".
CCC sugar exchange extended
The Commodity Credit Corp. announced Friday the results of the
third action, taken on Sept. 12, to reduce its recently acquired
sugar inventory and address the domestic sugar market. CCC also
announced an extension of the third offer to exchange the remaining
sugar inventory for credits held by refiners with licenses under the
Refined Sugar Re-Export Program.
The third sugar exchange reduced CCC's sugar inventory by 51,448
metric tons by exchanging that sugar for 139,882 metric tons of
credits under the Refined Sugar Re-Export Program. CCC received an
average of 2.72 tons of import access per ton of CCC inventory, and
this latest action reduced sugar available to the market by 88,434
metric tons. Additional information on this action is available
In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that
the CCC is extending its offer to exchange the remaining 26,003
metric tons of sugar inventory for credits held by refiners with
licenses under the Refined Sugar Re-Export Program.
For the Farm Service Agency's invitation to exchange re-export
credits, as well as the results of earlier USDA sugar actions, visit
the FSA Commodity Operations website at
[Text from file received from
Illinois Farm Service Agency]