This would include any changes in farm acreage, land ownership,
and bank accounts. Also any additions or removals of persons or
entities in the farming operation along with their contact
information need to be reported as well.
FSA is cleaning up producer record databases. If you have any
unreported changes of address, zip code, phone number, email
address or an incorrect name or business name on file they need
to be reported to our office. Changes in your farm operation,
like the addition of a farm by lease or purchase, need to be
reported to our office as well. Producers participating in FSA
and NRCS programs are required to timely report changes in their
farming operation to the County Committee in writing and update
their CCC-902 Farm Operating Plan.
If you have any updates or corrections, please call your local
FSA office to update your records.
To avoid long lines at the FSA counters, please consider making
your elections and enrolling in ARC/PLC now rather than later.
No need to wait until closer to the March 15, 2020 ARC/PLC
enrollment deadline, enroll today and make changes if needed to
your ARC/PLC elections, anytime after you enroll, until March15,
USDA Announces Signup for Conservation
USDA opened signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on
December 9, 2019. The deadline for agricultural producers to
sign up for general CRP is February 28, 2020, while signup for
continuous CRP is ongoing.
Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive a yearly rental
payment for voluntarily establishing long-term,
resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or
trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water
quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive
CRP has 22 million acres enrolled, but the 2018 Farm Bill lifted
the cap to 27 million acres. This means farmers and ranchers
have a chance to enroll in CRP for the first time or continue
their participation for another term.By enrolling in CRP,
producers are improving water quality, reducing soil erosion,
and restoring habitat for wildlife. This in turn spurs hunting,
fishing, recreation, tourism, and other economic development
across rural America.
CRP Enrollment Options
CRP general signup will be held annually. The competitive
general signup will now include increased opportunities for
enrollment of wildlife habitat through the State Acres For
Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) initiative.
While some practices under SAFE will remain available through
continuous signup, CRP continuous signup will focus primarily on
water quality with the Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers
(CLEAR) Initiative. The 2018 Farm Bill prioritizes water quality
practices such as contour grass strips, filter strips, riparian
buffers, wetlands and a new prairie strip.
CRP Grasslands signup helps landowners and operators protect
grassland, including rangeland, and pastureland and certain
other lands while maintaining the areas as grazing lands. A
separate CRP Grasslands signup will be offered each year
following general signup.
Later in 2020, (FSA will roll out pilot programs within CRP:
CLEAR 30, which allows contracts expiring with CLEAR practices
to be reenrolled in 30-year contracts and in the Soil Health and
Income Protection Program (SHIPP) in the prairie pothole region.
More information on these programs will be announced in the new
The CRP Transition Incentives Program (TIP) is an option for
producers interested in transitioning land to a beginning farmer
or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group to
return land to production for sustainable grazing or crop
production. CRP contract holders no longer need to be a retired
or retiring owner or operator to transition their land. TIP
participants may have a lease less than five years with an
option to purchase, and they have two years before the end of
the CRP contract to make conservation and land improvements.
Previously Expired Land
Land enrolled in CRP under a 15-year contract that expired in
September 2017, 2018 or 2019, may be eligible for enrollment if
there was no opportunity for re-enrollment and the practice
under the expired contract has been maintained.
CRP Rates and Payments
FSA recently posted updated soil rental rates for CRP. County
average rates are posted on the CRP Statistics webpage. Soil
rental rates are statutorily prorated at 90 percent for
continuous signup and 85 percent for general signup. The rental
rates will be assessed annually. Under continuous signup,
producers also receive incentives, including a signup incentive
payment and a practice incentive payment.
To enroll in CRP, contact your local FSA county office or visit
fsa.usda.gov/crp. To locate your local FSA office, visit
Submit Loan Requests for Financing Early
The Farm Loan team is already working on
operating loans for spring 2020 so it is important that
potential borrowers submit their requests early so they can be
timely processed. The farm loan team can help determine which
loan programs are best for applicants.
FSA offers a wide range of low-interest loans that can meet the
financial needs of any farm operation for just about any
purpose. The traditional farm operating and farm ownership loans
can help large and small farm operations take advantage of early
purchasing discounts for spring inputs as well expenses
throughout the year.
Microloans are a simplified loan program that will
provide up to $50,000 for both Farm Ownership and Operating
Microloans to eligible applicants. These loans, targeted for
smaller operations and non-traditional operations, can be used
for operating expenses, starting a new agricultural enterprise,
purchasing equipment, and other needs associated with a farming
operation. The staff at the your local County FSA office can
provide more details on farm operating and microloans and
provide loan applications. Loans to beginning farmers and
members of underserved groups are a priority.
Other types of loans available include:
Marketing Assistance Loans allow producers to use eligible
commodities as loan collateral and obtain a 9-month loan while
the crop is in storage. These loans provide cash flow to the
producer and allow them to market the crop when prices may be
Farm Storage Facility Loans can be used to build
permanent structures used to store eligible commodities, or for
storage and handling trucks, or portable or permanent handling
equipment. A variety of structures are eligible under this loan,
including bunker silos, grain bins, hay storage structures and
refrigerated structures for vegetables and fruit. A producer may
borrow up to $500,000 per loan.
Please call your local County office if you have questions about
any of the loans available through FSA.
Farm Storage Facility Loans
FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program
provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade
storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used)
structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks.
The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent
facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include
corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat,
barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops
(lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable
biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage
facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese,
butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and
aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals
through uptake and discharge of water). Qualified facilities
include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for
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Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security
agreement and loans between $50,000 and $100,000 may require
additional security. Loans exceeding $100,000 require additional
Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of
commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to
assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and
mid-sized businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food
and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved
To learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan, visit
www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport or contact your local FSA county
office. To find your local FSA county office, visit
Communication is Key in Lending
Farm Service Agency (FSA) is committed to providing
our farm loan borrowers the tools necessary to be a success. A part
of ensuring this success is providing guidance and counsel from the
loan application process through the borrower’s graduation to
commercial lending institutions. While it is FSA’s commitment to
advise borrowers as they identify goals and evaluate progress, it is
crucial for borrowers to communicate with their farm loan staff when
changes occur. It is the borrower’s responsibility to alert FSA to
any of the following:
Any proposed or significant changes in the
Any significant changes to family income or
The development of problem situations;
Any losses or proposed significant changes in
In addition, if a farm loan borrower cannot make
payments to suppliers, other creditors, or FSA on time, contact your
farm loan staff immediately to discuss loan servicing options.
For more information on FSA farm loan programs, visit
Marketing Assistance Loans Available for 2019 Crops
The 2018 Farm Bill extends loan authority through 2023 for Marketing
Assistance Loans (MALs).
MALs provide financing and marketing assistance for 2019 crop wheat,
feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, pulse crops, wool and
honey. MALs provide producers interim financing after harvest to
help them meet cash flow needs without having to sell their
commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows.
To be eligible for an MAL, producers must have a beneficial interest
in the commodity, in addition to other requirements. A producer
retains beneficial interest when control of and title to the
commodity is maintained. For more information, producers should
contact their local FSA county office.
Maintaining the Quality of Loaned Grain
Bins are ideally designed to hold a level volume of grain. When bins
are overfilled and grain is heaped up, airflow is hindered and the
chance of spoilage increases.
Producers who take out marketing assistance loans and use the
farm-stored grain as collateral should remember that they are
responsible for maintaining the quality of the grain through the
term of the loan.
Unauthorized Disposition of Grain
If loan grain has been disposed of through feeding, selling or any
other form of disposal without prior written authorization from the
county office staff, it is considered unauthorized disposition and a
violation of the terms and conditions of the Note and Security
Agreement. The financial penalties for unauthorized dispositions are
severe and a producer’s name will be placed on a loan violation list
for a two-year period. Always call before you haul any grain under
loan. If you have questions concerning the movement of grain under
loan, please contact your local county FSA office.
USDA Swine Study for Small and Large Enterprises
Starting in June 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)
National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), in collaboration
with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS),
will conduct national studies of U.S. small and large enterprise
Illinois producers are included in these studies, which take an
in-depth look at small (fewer than 1,000 pigs) and large (1,000 or
more pigs) U.S. swine operations and provide information regarding
health and management practices to the U.S. swine industry.
Information collected will be used to inform disease management and
preparedness strategies to safeguard the swine industry.
Large Enterprise Study (1,000 or more pigs)
Representatives from NASS will visit participating operations from
July through August 2020 to complete a questionnaire. If you choose
to continue in the study, USDA or state veterinary health
professionals will visit you from September 2020 through January
2021 to complete a second questionnaire and discuss free biologic
testing (oral fluids and feces).
Approximately 2,700 operations will be selected from 13 of the
Nation’s top swine-producing states representing about 90 percent of
the U.S. swine operations with 1,000 or more pigs.
Small Enterprise Study (Fewer than 1,000 pigs)
In June 2020, selected producers will be mailed a letter describing
the study and be provided with a questionnaire to complete and
return. Producers who don’t respond to the questionnaire will be
called by a NASS representative to arrange a convenient time to
complete the questionnaire via a telephone interview.
Approximately 5,000 swine operations from 38 states will be asked to
participate in the study. These states account for about 95 percent
of U.S. swine operations with fewer than 1,000 pigs.
Participation in any NAHMS study is voluntary. The privacy of every
questionnaire participant is protected. Data will only be presented
in an aggregate or summary manner.
For more information, please contact Charles Haley at 970-494-7216
January Interest Rates and Important Dates
Illinois Farm Service Agency
3500 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, IL 62711
Phone: 217-241-6600 ext. 2
State Executive Director:
William J. Graff
James Reed - Chairperson
Kirk Liefer - Member
George Obernagel III-Member
To find contact information for your local office go to
https://www.farmers.gov/ for information about ALL the programs
available through your local USDA Service Center FSA and NRCS
offices, including county office locations, agriculture statistics,
loan interest rates and much more!
Learn about Risk Management Agency's crop insurance programs at