Important Filing Deadline Nears
An important deadline for area producers is rapidly approaching. Les Zobrist, County Executive Director for Palo Alto County USDA Farm Service Agency reminds producers of the deadline for three federal programs: Reporting 2009 planted acreage, and electing and enrolling in the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program or the traditional Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP). The deadline to certify 2009 crops and enroll a farm in ACRE or DCP for 2009 is August 14, 2009.
“It is critical for producers to begin the ACRE enrollment process as soon as possible,” said Zobrist. “ACRE is an innovative alternative to the traditional farm safety net, but this new program comes with a complex signup process.” Zobrist advises producers who are interested in signing up for the ACRE program to contact their local FSA office right away to set up appointments before the August 14, 2009 deadline.
Numerous resources are available to help producers make an informed decision. FSA county office staff can answer many questions on program rules, application procedures and potential benefits. Experts at local land grant universities can assist with potential payment calculations. FSA has also launched an ACRE webpage, with educational information, including an electronic program payment calculator, located at www.fsa.usda.gov/dcp .
Late-filed applications for ACRE or DCP will not be accepted. Producers should note also that ACRE elections will not be approved until all producers, including owners, on a farm have signed both election and enrollment forms. If producers do not elect ACRE, they still have the option of remaining enrolled in the DCP program. Both ACRE and DCP require all signatures be obtained by the August 14, 2009 deadline.
Zobrist emphasized, “In all cases, it is the responsibility of the operator and owners of a farm to obtain and submit all necessary signatures on election and enrollment forms by the August 14, 2009 deadline.”
Producers should also note that once they select ACRE for a farm, that decision irrevocably elects ACRE for the farm through crop year 2012. In that case, the ACRE contract form must be completed each year the producer intends to participate and receive ACRE benefits.
For more information about the ACRE program and an online ACRE Calculator, visit:
or contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office.