The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency administrator Juan M. Garcia has recommended that farmers and ranchers who plan to participate in FSA programs register in advance. Producers are encouraged to report farm records and business structure changes to a local FSA Service Center before Tuesday, April 15.
Enrollment for the disaster programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, including the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program will begin by April 15.
"We expect significant interest in these programs,” said Garcia. “Early registration should help improve the sign-up process and allow us to expedite implementation of the programs. I strongly encourage producers to complete their paperwork ahead of time.”
Examples of updates or changes to report include the following: new producers or producers who have not reported farm records to FSA; producers who have recently bought, sold or rented land; and producers that have changed business structures (e.g. formed a partnership or LLC). Even family farms that have records on file may want to ensure this is recorded accurately as it may impact payment limits.
Farm records can be updated during business hours at FSA Service Centers that administer the county where the farm or ranch is located. Producers can contact their local FSA Service Center in advance to find out what paperwork they may need. In addition, bank account information should be supplied or updated if necessary to ensure that producers receive payments as quickly as possible through direct deposit.
While any producer may report farm records and business structure changes, it is especially important for producers who suffered livestock, livestock grazing, honeybee, farm-raised fish, or tree/vine losses for 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014, and may be eligible for assistance through one of the four disaster programs.
For further information about disaster programs and USDA’s Farm Bill implementation plan, or for FSA Service Center locations, go to www.fsa.gov.