Illinois FSA does not have the staff it once did; however, it
still helped farmers report their acres in the worst of
conditions. We will measure many years to come against 2019. Not
only farming in Illinois, but in Illinois FSA. Illinois FSA
employees can be very proud to say, “I survived 2019 acreage
reporting.” While all this was going on your local CED’s
convened their local USDA County Emergency Board and sent a
tremendous amount of documentation into the Illinois FSA State
Office for the USDA State Emergency Board, which I chair. All
this information is compiled by the USDA Illinois State FSA
office. I will get into what that all means in the August
In addition to the “normal” day to day activities, the local FSA
office had the Dairy Margin Coverage program to administer, a
Continuous CRP signup going on, and Washington D.C. requests for
accounting matters to be handled.
Illinois FSA employees are the most dedicated government
employees you will ever find. We have a tremendous amount of
work still ahead of us, but we will prevail. Just be patient
I also know 2019 is not going to be kind to many farming
operations finances. If you need FSA loan assistance, please
come in earlier rather than later.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you.
William J. Graff
State Executive Director
USDA Extends Deadline to Report
Spring-Seeded Crops for Illinois
Producers in States Impacted by Floods and Heavy Moisture
Must Report by July 22
USDA is extending the deadline to report acres for agricultural
producers in states impacted by flooding and heavy moisture.
This new July 22 deadline applies to producers in Arkansas,
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin for
reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA’s Farm Service Agency
(FSA) county offices and crop insurance agents.
Filing a timely crop acreage report is important to maintaining
eligibility for USDA conservation, disaster assistance, safety
net, crop insurance, and farm loan programs. A crop acreage
report documents all crops and their intended uses and is an
important part of record-keeping for your farm or ranch.
Producers filing reports with FSA county offices are encouraged
to set up an appointment before visiting the office. Producers
who set up appointments before the July 22 deadline are
considered timely filed, even if the appointment occurs after
Producers not in these select states must file spring-seeded
crops by the original July 15 deadline.
Other USDA Efforts to Help Producers
USDA has taken additional steps to help impacted producers,
Updating the haying and grazing date for
producers who have planted cover crops on prevented plant
Offering special sign-ups through the
Environmental Quality Incentives Program for assistance to
plant cover crops; and
Extending the deadline to report prevented
plant acres in certain places.
For more information, visit our Prevented or
Delayed Planting webpage.
To learn more, contact your FSA county office or visit
fsa.usda.gov or farmers.gov/prevented-planting.
Questions? Please contact your local FSA Office.
Guaranteed Loan Program
Illinois producers are facing tight cash flow margins. Access to
credit becomes more difficult during these times. FSA guaranteed
loans provide another tool for Illinois farmers and ranchers.
Illinois FSA currently has 2600 guaranteed loan customers with
190 local lending institutions and a guaranteed loan portfolio
that has reached $900 million.
FSA guaranteed loans allow lenders to provide agricultural
credit to farmers who do not meet the lender's normal
underwriting criteria. Farmers and ranchers apply for a
guaranteed loan through a lender, and the lender arranges for
the guarantee. FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of
principal and interest on a loan.
Loans can be used for both farm ownership and operating
purposes. Farm ownership loans can be used to purchase farmland,
construct or repair buildings, develop farmland to promote soil
and water conservation or to refinance debt. Term notes can be
used to purchase livestock, farm equipment, or refinance debt.
Lines of credit are available to finance crop and livestock
The Illinois guaranteed loan program has an outstanding track
record and represents a partnership between USDA, local
commercial agriculture banks, and Farm Credit institutions.
Please contact your lender or local FSA farm loan office for
more information on guaranteed loans.
Eligibility for Nominations for the 2019
County Committee Elections
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm
Service Agency (FSA) county committees are a critical component
of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input
and local administration of federal farm programs.
Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural
producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration
of FSA farm programs in their counties. Committee members are
accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. If elected, members
become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery
A county committee is composed of three elected members from
local administrative areas (LAA). Each member serves a
three-year term. To be eligible for nomination and hold office
as a committee member or alternate, a person must fulfill each
of the following requirements: (1) be a producer with an
interest in farming or ranching operations, (2) participate or
cooperate in any FSA program provided for by law, (3) be a U.S.
citizen, (4) be of legal voting age, (5) meet the basic
eligibility requirements, and (6) reside in the county or
multi-county jurisdiction in which they will be serving.
All nomination forms for the 2019 election must be postmarked or
received in the local USDA service center by Aug. 1, 2019. For
more information on FSA county committee elections and
appointments, refer to the FSA fact sheet: Eligibility to Vote
and Hold Office as a COC Member available online at:
The Farm Service Agency makes loans to youth to establish and
operate agricultural income-producing projects in connection
with 4-H clubs, FFA and other agricultural groups. Projects must
be planned and operated with the help of the organization
advisor, produce sufficient income to repay the loan and provide
the youth with practical business and educational experience.
The maximum loan amount is $5,000.
Youth Loan Eligibility Requirements:
Be a citizen of the United States (which
includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American
Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) or
a legal resident alien
Be 10 years to 20 years of age
Comply with FSA’s general eligibility requirements
Be unable to get a loan from other sources
Conduct a modest income-producing project
in a supervised program of work as outlined above
Demonstrate capability of planning,
managing and operating the project under guidance and
assistance from a project advisor.
The project supervisor must recommend the
youth loan applicant, along with providing adequate
Stop by the county office for help preparing
and processing the application forms.
USDA Offers Producers Options to Re-enroll
or Extend Expiring CRP Contracts
Farmers and ranchers with expiring Conservation
Reserve Program (CRP) contracts may now re-enroll in certain CRP
continuous signup practices or, if eligible, select a one-year
contract extension. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is also
accepting offers from landowners who want to enroll for the
first time in one of the country’s largest conservation
programs. FSA’s 52nd signup for CRP runs from June 3 to August
This year’s CRP continuous signup includes practices such as
grass waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland
restoration and others. View a full list of practices approved
for this signup. Continuous signup contracts last for 10 to 15
years. Soil rental rates are set at 90 percent of 2018 rates.
Incentive payments are not offered for these practices.
Producers interested in applying for CRP continuous practices,
or who want to extend their contract, should contact their USDA
service center before August 23.
To locate your local FSA office, visit
information on CRP can be found at
New Dairy Margin Coverage Signup Began June
Signup began June 17, 2019 for the new Dairy
Margin Coverage (DMC) program, the cornerstone program of the
dairy safety net that helps dairy producers manage the
volatility of milk and feed prices, operated by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers
may enroll through September 20, 2019.
The 2018 Farm Bill allowed USDA to construct the new DMC, which
replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy).
This new program offers protection to dairy producers when the
difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost
(the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the
The program provides coverage retroactive to January 1, 2019,
with applicable payments following soon after enrollment. At the
time of signup, dairy producers can choose between the $4.00 to
$9.50 coverage levels. Learn more about coverage levels and
The Farm Bill also allows producers who participated in MPP-Dairy
from 2014-2017 to receive a repayment or credit for part of the
premiums paid into the program. FSA has been providing premium
reimbursements to producers since last month and those that
elect the 75 percent credit option will now have that credit
applied toward 2019 DMC premiums.
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The Department has built in a 50 percent blend of premium and
supreme alfalfa hay prices with the alfalfa hay price used under the
prior dairy program to provide a total feed cost that more closely
aligns with hay rations used by many producers. At a milk margin
minus feed cost of $9.50 or less, payments are possible. With the 50
percent hay blend, FSA’s revised April 2019 income over feed cost
margin is $8.82 per hundredweight (cwt). The revised margins for
January, February and March are, respectively, $7.71, $7.91 and
$8.66 – triggering DMC payments for each month.
DMC payments will be reduced by 6.2 percent in 2019
because of a sequester order required by Congress and issued in
accordance with the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control
Act of 1985.
DMC offers catastrophic coverage at no cost to the producer, other
than an annual $100 administrative fee. Producers can opt for
greater coverage levels for a premium in addition to the
administrative fee. Operations owned by limited resource, beginning,
socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers may be
eligible for a waiver on administrative fees. Producers have the
choice to lock in coverage levels until 2023 and receive a
25-percent discount on their DMC premiums.
To assist producers in making coverage elections, USDA partnered
with the University of Wisconsin to develop a DMC decision support
tool, which can be used to evaluate various scenarios using
different coverage levels through DMC.
All dairy operations in the United States are
eligible for the DMC program. An operation can be run either by a
single producer or multiple producers who commercially produce and
market cows’ milk.
Eligible dairy operations must have a production history determined
by FSA. For most operations, production history is based on the
highest milk production in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Newer dairy
operations have other options for determining production history.
Producers may contact their local FSA office to get their verified
Dairy producers also are reminded that 2018 Farm Bill provisions
allow for dairy operations to participate in both FSA’s DMC program
and the Risk Management Agency’s Livestock Gross Margin (LGM-Dairy)
program. There are also no restrictions from participating in DMC in
conjunction with any other RMA insurance products.
For more information, visit farmers.gov DMC webpage or contact your
local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides
assistance to eligible producers for livestock deaths in excess of
normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease and attacks by
animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or
protected by federal law.
LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock
death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather,
including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires,
extreme heat or extreme cold.
For disease losses, FSA county committees can accept veterinarian
certifications that livestock deaths were directly related to
adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and
For 2019 livestock losses, eligible livestock owners must file a
notice within 30 calendar days of when the loss is first apparent.
Participants must provide the following supporting documentation to
their local FSA office no later than 60 calendar days after the end
of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred.
Proof of death documentation
Copy of growers contracts
Proof of normal mortality documentation
USDA has established normal mortality rates for
each type and weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. Adult Beef
Cow = 1.5% and Non-Adult Beef Cattle (less than 400 pounds) = 5%.
These established percentages reflect losses that are considered
expected or typical under “normal” conditions.
In addition to filing a notice of loss, producers must also submit
an application for payment by March 1, 2020. Additional Information
about LIP is available at your local FSA office or online at:
Livestock Inventory Records
Producers are reminded to keep updated livestock
inventory records. These records are necessary in the event of a
When disasters strike, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist
producers who suffered excessive livestock death losses and grazing
or feed losses due to eligible natural disasters.
To participate in livestock disaster assistance programs, producers
will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses
resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a
notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of
when the loss of livestock is apparent. For grazing or feed losses,
producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office
within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent and should
maintain documentation and receipts.
Producers should record all pertinent information regarding
livestock inventory records including:
Documentation of the number, kind, type, and
weight range of livestock
Beginning inventory supported by birth
recordings or purchase receipts;
For more information on documentation requirements,
contact your local FSA office.
Transitioning Expiring CRP Land to Beginning,
Veteran or Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
Retired or retiring landowners or operators are
encouraged to transition their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
acres to beginning, veteran or underserved farmers or ranchers
through the Transition Incentives Program (TIP). TIP provides annual
rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to two additional
years after the CRP contract expires, provided the transition is not
to a family member.
Enrollment in TIP is on a continuous basis. Beginning, veteran or
underserved farmers and ranchers and retiring CRP participants may
enroll in TIP beginning one year before the expiration date of the
CRP contract or Aug. 23. For example, if a CRP contract is scheduled
to expire on Sept. 30, 2019, the land may be offered for enrollment
in TIP beginning June 3, 2019, through Aug. 23, 2019. The Aug. 23
deadline allows the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
time to complete the TIP sustainable grazing or crop production
conservation plans. The TIP application must be submitted prior to
completing the lease or sale of the affected lands.
New landowners or renters must return the land to production using
sustainable grazing or farming methods.
For more information on TIP, visit
USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover
Producers’ Costs for Organic Certification
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that
organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist
with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification
through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).
Applications for fiscal 2019 funding are due Oct. 31, 2019.
OCCSP received continued support through the 2018 Farm Bill. It
provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of
agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining
organic certification under the USDA’s National Organic Program.
Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who
have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying
agent. Eligible expenses for cost-share reimbursement include
application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency
agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for
inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.
Certified producers and handlers are eligible to receive
reimbursement for up to 75 percent of certification costs each year,
up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope, including crops,
livestock, wild crops, handling and state organic program fees.
To learn more about organic certification cost share, please visit
the OCCSP webpage, view the notice of funds availability on the
Federal Register, or contact your FSA county office. To learn more
about USDA support for organic agriculture, visit usda.gov/ organic
July Interest Rates and
Important Dates to Remember
Click to enlarge
3500 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, IL 62711
State Executive Director:
William J. Graff
To find contact information for your local office go to
USDA is an equal opportunity
provider, employer and lender. 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).