Starting with the October FSA Newsletter, local county offices
will no longer issue monthly newsletters to their county
producers, instead the monthly Newsletter will be issued from
the Illinois State FSA office to all producers in Illinois.
County offices will continue to send out electronic messages in
shorter bulletin form to their respective county producers but
to reduce workload and free County Office Managers of time
better spent ensuring you receive the best possible assistance
and care, the FSA Newsletters will be created and sent from the
Illinois State FSA Office.
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we
transition into a new, more efficient way of providing you with
the newest and most recent updates to FSA programs and
As always please contact your local county office with any
questions you may have regarding the information sent through
the Illinois State FSA Newsletters and for further details
regarding program rules and regulations.
Wishing you a safe, successful harvest season. Scherrie V.
Giamanco - State Executive Director
USDA Farm Service Agency Announces Key Dates for New 2014
Farm Bill Safety Net Programs
USDA announced key dates for farm owners and producers to keep
in mind regarding the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs,
Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).
The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk,
usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm
programs in decades.
Dates associated with ARC and PLC that farm owners and producers
need to know:
Sept. 29, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2015: Land owners may visit
their local Farm Service Agency office to update yield history
and/or reallocate base acres.
Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015: Producers make a
one-time election of either ARC or PLC for the 2014 through 2018
Mid-April 2015 through summer 2015: Producers sign
contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years.
October 2015: Payments for 2014 crop year, if needed.
USDA leaders will visit with producers across the country to
share information and answer questions on the ARC and PLC
USDA helped create online tools to assist in the decision
process, allowing farm owners and producers to enter information
about their operation and see projections that show what ARC
and/or PLC will mean for them under possible future scenarios.
The new tools are now available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
Farm owners and producers can access the online resources from
the convenience of their home computer or mobile device at any
Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small
chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils,
mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain
rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain rice),
safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.
Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
Producers can contact their local FSA office for more
information or to schedule an appointment.
One-Time Opportunity of Update the Farm’s Payment Yield for
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) authorizes owners
of a farm a one-time opportunity to update the farm’s payment
yield for covered commodities. Owners may retain the
counter-cyclical (CC) yield as of September 30, 2013, or update
the yield for each covered commodity with a base to 90 percent
of a simple average of the covered commodity’s yield per planted
acre on the farm for each of the 2008 through 2012 crop years,
excluding any year in which the covered commodity was not
The retained or updated yield becomes the PLC yield, similar to
CC yields in previous years, for the farm for the 2014 through
2018 crop years. Direct payment yields will no longer be used.
The PLC yields are used in the payment calculation for the PLC
program only and are not used in the ARC calculations. However,
all updated PLC yields, including those for covered commodities
for which ARC was elected, will be maintained on the farm by
Certified yield data may be furnished by either the farm owner
or operator. The decision to retain or update the PLC yield is
solely the owner(s). A current owner who decides to update 1 or
more yields for covered commodities shall utilize a form CCC-859
to certify the yields produced on planted acres of the covered
commodity for each of the years the crop was planted, 2008-2012,
for those covered commodities that a yield update is requested.
The owner shall retain the yield records used to certify the
updated yields to provide to FSA for review, if requested.
County Offices do not have the resources to accept production
evidence for verification purposes as certifications are made.
A current owner’s decision to update the yield can be made
through the end of the yield update period which ends on
February 27, 2015. A form CCC-859, Price Loss Coverage (PLC)
Yield Worksheet, may be obtained from the local County FSA
Office for owners or operators to utilize to report yields for a
farm and can include yield data from the current or previous
USDA Announces Changes to Fruit, Vegetable and Wild Rice
Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced fruit, vegetable and
wild rice provisions that affect producers who intend to
participate in certain programs authorized by the Agricultural
Act of 2014.
Producers who intend to participate in the Agriculture Risk
Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs are subject
to an acre-for-acre payment reduction when fruits and nuts,
vegetables or wild rice are planted on the payment acres of a
farm. Payment reductions do not apply to mung beans, dry peas,
lentils or chickpeas. Planting fruits, vegetables or wild rice
on acres that are not considered payment acres will not result
in a payment reduction. Farms that are eligible to participate
in ARC/PLC but are not enrolled for a particular year may plant
unlimited fruits, vegetables and wild rice for that year but
will not receive ARC/PLC payments for that year. Eligibility for
succeeding years is not affected.
Planting and harvesting fruits, vegetables and wild rice on
ARC/PLC acreage is subject to the acre-for-acre payment
reduction when those crops are planted on either more than 15
percent of the base acres of a farm enrolled in ARC using the
county coverage or PLC, or more than 35 percent of the base
acres of a farm enrolled in ARC using the individual coverage.
Fruits, vegetables and wild rice that are planted in a
double-cropping practice will not cause a payment reduction if
the farm is in a double-cropping region as designated by the
USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.
USDA Unveils Key New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk
USDA just unveiled highly anticipated new programs to help
farmers better manage risk, ushering in one of the most
significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.
New tools are now available to help provide farmers the
information they need to choose the new safety net program that
is right for their business.
The new programs, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price
Loss Coverage (PLC), are cornerstones of the commodity farm
safety net programs in the 2014 Farm Bill, legislation that
ended direct payments. Both programs offer farmers protection
when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and/or
revenues. Producers will have through early spring of 2015 to
select which program works best for their businesses.
To help farmers choose between ARC and PLC, USDA helped create
online tools that allow farmers to enter information about their
operation and see projections about what each program will mean
for them under possible future scenarios. The new tools are now
Starting Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, farm owners may begin visiting
their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices if they want to
update their yield history and/or reallocate base acres, the
first step before choosing which new program best serves their
risk management needs. Letters sent this summer enabled farm
owners and producers to analyze their crop planting history in
order to decide whether to keep their base acres or reallocate
them according to recent plantings.
The next step in USDA’s safety net implementation is scheduled
for this winter when all producers on a farm begin making their
election, which will remain in effect for 2014-2018 crop years
between the options offered by ARC and PLC.
Producers can contact their local FSA Office for more
information on ARC and PLC or to schedule an appointment to
update their yield history and/or reallocate base acres.
USDA Reminds Farmers of 2014 Farm Bill Conservation
The 2014 Farm Bill implements a change that requires farmers to
have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland
Conservation Certification (AD-1026) on file for farmers to be
eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance.
The Risk Management Agency (RMA), through the Federal Crop
Insurance Corporation (FCIC), manages the federal crop insurance
program that provides the modern farm safety net for American
farmers and ranchers.
Since enactment of the 1985 Farm Bill, eligibility for most
commodity, disaster, and conservation programs has been linked
to compliance with the highly erodible land conservation and
wetland conservation provisions. The 2014 Farm Bill continues
the requirement that producers adhere to conservation compliance
guidelines to be eligible for most programs administered by FSA
and NRCS. This includes most financial assistance, such as, the
new price and revenue protection programs, the Conservation
Reserve Program, the Livestock Disaster Assistance programs,
Marketing Assistance Loans, the Noninsured Crop Disaster
Assistance Program, and most other programs implemented by FSA.
It also includes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program,
the Conservation Stewardship Program, and other conservation
programs implemented by NRCS.
Many FSA and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs
already have implemented this requirement, and therefore, most
producers should already have an AD-1026 from on file for their
associated lands. If, however, an AD-1026 form has not been
filed, or is incomplete, then farmers are reminded of the
deadline of June 1, 2015.
When a farmer completes and submits the AD-1026 certification
form, FSA and NRCS staff will review the associated farm records
and outline any additional actions that may be required to meet
the required compliance with the conservation compliance
FSA recently released a revised form AD-1026, which is available
at USDA Service Centers and online at: www.fsa.usda.gov . USDA
will publish a rule later this year that will provide details
outlining the connection of conservation compliance with crop
insurance premium support. Producers can also contact their
local USDA Service Center for information. A listing of service
center locations is available at
[to top of second column]
Breaking Out New Ground
Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with FSA and NRCS
before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing so
without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm
program benefits in jeopardy. This is especially true for land that
must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC)
Producers with HEL determined soils are required to apply tillage,
crop residue and rotational requirements as specified in their
conservation plan or an approved conservation system.
Producers should notify FSA as a first point of contact prior to
conducting land clearing or drainage type projects to ensure the
proposed actions meet compliance criteria such as clearing any trees
to create new cropland, then these areas will need to be reviewed to
ensure such work will not risk your eligibility for benefits. This
would include any cropland previously enrolled in a CRP contract,
which expired on September 30, 2014.
Landowners and operators must complete form AD-1026 - Highly
Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC)
Certification to identify the proposed action and allow FSA to
determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) for further review is necessary.
2014 Important Deadline Dates to Remember for COC Elections
November 3, 2014 Ballots mailed to eligible voters
December 1, 2014 Last day to return voted ballots to the USDA
January 1, 2015 Newly elected county committee members take
The election of agricultural producers to Farm Service Agency (FSA)
county committees is important to farmers and ranchers. It is
crucial that every eligible producer participate in these elections
because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural
community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
County committee members are a critical component of the operations
of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level.
Farmers and ranchers who serve on county committees help with the
decisions necessary to administer the programs in their counties.
They work to ensure FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of
FSA county committees operate within official regulations designed
to carry out federal laws. County committee members apply their
judgment and knowledge to make local decisions.
Foreign Buyers Notification
The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) requires
all foreign owners of U.S. agricultural land to report their
holdings to the Secretary of Agriculture. The Farm Service Agency
administers this program for USDA.
All individuals who are not U.S. citizens, and have purchased or
sold agricultural land in the county are required to report the
transaction to FSA with 90 days of the closing. Failure to submit
the AFIDA form (FSA-153) could result in civil penalties of up to 25
percent of the fair market value of the property. County government
offices, Realtors, attorneys and others involved in real estate
transactions are reminded to notify foreign investors of these
Land Contract (LC) Guarantees
The Land Contract (LC) Guarantee Program is a valuable tool to
transfer farm real estate to the next generation of farmers and
ranchers. Guarantees will be offered to the owner of a farm who
wishes to sell real estate through a land contract to a beginning or
socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher. The guarantee reduces the
financial risk to the seller.
FSA offers two types of guarantees:
Prompt Payment Guarantee - A guarantee up to the amount of
three amortized annual installments plus the cost of any related
real estate taxes and insurance.
Standard Guarantee - A guarantee of 90 percent of the
outstanding principal balance under the land contract.
The guarantee period is 10 years and the contract payments must be
amortized for a minimum of 20 years. The purchase price of the farm
cannot exceed the lesser of $500,000 or the market value of the
For additional information you can read the Land Contract Guarantee
Program Fact Sheet.
Filing for NAP Losses
The CCC-576, Notice of Loss, is used to report failed acreage and
prevented planting and may be completed by any producer with an
interest in the crop. Timely filing a Notice of Loss is required for
all crops. For losses on crops covered by the Non-Insured Crop
Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), you must file a CCC-576, Notice
of Loss, in the FSA County Office within 15 days of the occurrence
of the disaster or when losses become apparent.
If filing for prevented planting, an acreage report and CCC-576 must
be filed within 15 calendar days of the final planting date for the
Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy)
for dairy producers. The new, voluntary risk management program
replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program which expires
on Sept. 1, 2014.
MPP-Dairy offers protection to dairy producers when the difference
(the margin) between the all-milk price and national average feed
cost falls below a certain producer selected amount.
Eligible producers may purchase coverage for their dairy operation
by paying an annual administrative fee of $100 and a premium, as
applicable, for higher levels of coverage. Producers in the dairy
operation will have to select a desired coverage level ranging from
$4.00 to $8.00, in $0.50 increments and a desired coverage
percentage level ranging from 25 to 90 percent, in 5 percent
increments. Producers will also have to decide whether or not to
participate in the MPP-Dairy Program or the Livestock Gross Margin
program administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), but they
will not be allowed to participate in both.
A decision tool will be made available in the fall of 2014 to help
producers make coverage level decisions. Enrollment will also begin
this fall. Dairy operators will establish their production history
during signup. Verification of the production records will be
required. The regulations for MPP-dairy are still being developed.
Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
USDA Announces New Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Department Implementing New Farm Bill Programs, Unveiling New
Centralized Online Resource to Support Next Generation of Farmers
USDA has announced the implementation of new Farm Bill measures and
other policy changes to improve the financial security of new and
beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA also unveiled www.USDA.gov/newfarmers,
a new website that will provide a centralized, one-stop resource
where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA
initiatives designed to help them succeed.
USDA’s www.usda.gov/newfarmers has in depth information for new
farmers and ranchers, including: how to increase access to land and
capital; build new market opportunities; participate in conservation
opportunities; select and use the right risk management tools; and
access USDA education, and technical support programs. These issues
have been identified as top priorities by new farmers. The website
will also feature instructive case studies about beginning farmers
who have successfully utilized USDA resources to start or expand
their business operations.
Today’s policy announcements in support of beginning farmers and
Waiving service fees for new and beginning farmers or ranchers to
enroll in the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for
the 2014 crop year. NAP provides risk management tools to
farmers who grow crops for which there is no crop insurance product.
Under this waiver, announced via an official notice to Farm Service
Agency offices, farmers and ranchers whom already enrolled in NAP
for the 2014 crop year and certified to being a beginning farmer or
social disadvantaged farmer are eligible for a service fee refund.
Eliminating payment reductions under the Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) for new and beginning farmers which will allow
routine, prescribed, and emergency grazing outside the primary
nesting season on enrolled land consistent with approved
conservation plans. Previously, farmers and ranchers grazing on
CRP land were subject to a reduction in CRP payments of up to 25
percent. Waiving these reductions for new and beginning farmers will
provide extra financial support during times of emergency like
drought and other natural disasters.
Increasing payment rates to beginning farmers and ranchers under
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish
Program (ELAP). Under this provision, beginning farmers can claim up
90 percent of losses for lost livestock, such as bees, under ELAP.
This is a fifty percent increase over previously available
payment amounts to new and beginning farmers.
In the near future, USDA will also announce additional crop
insurance program changes for beginning farmers and ranchers –
including discounted premiums, waiver of administrative fees, and
Additional information about USDA actions in support of beginning
farmers and ranchers is available here.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a
complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant
Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400
Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866)
632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or
Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Farm Service Agency
3500 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, IL 62711
Jill Appel - Jerry Jimenez - Joyce Matthews -Gordon Stine
Scherrie V. Giamanco
Public Affairs Specialist Mary S. Kirby
Please contact your local FSA Office for questions specific to your
operation or county.