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Find That FSA Letter Soon

Remember that letter you got from your local Farm Service Agency office in late July or early August? It’s the one that told you the base acres you have for each program crop on farms you own or operate. If you’re the owner, you’ll have a chance to reallocate the base acres and update yields to reflect more recent cropping history, probably starting next month, although there’s nothing official from FSA yet.

Forget mulling over how big future program payments could be under ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) or PLC (Price Loss Coverage). Choosing between those programs won’t take place until this winter.

Instead, there is one important deadline looming. If anything in the FSA records about your old base acres isn’t accurate, you’ve got just 60 days from the date on the letter to notify FSA to correct it.

“That’s what producers should be doing right now. They should be checking that information,” University of Illinois economist Gary Schnitkey said last week at a farm bill training conference held in Kansas City, Missouri.

You can’t find the letter? Don’t feel alone. At least one person at last week’s meeting wasn’t certain whether her family had the letter they’d gotten from FSA. You can contact your FSA office for another copy, Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist Steve Johnson told later.

Those base acres are the foundation for both of the programs that most farmers are likely to choose from this winter. Any payments from either county-level ARC or PLC will be made on 85% of the base acres you have for a commodity crop. In the Corn Belt, on those farms where more corn has been planted on base acres in recent years, farmers should reallocate their base acres to reflect that, Schnitkey said. Higher payments are more likely from having a bigger corn base.

Johnson recently visited the recording studio to share his insight on how you will be able to reallocate base acres, as well as update yields. 

Johnson said that the updating process is relatively simple, and it’s something farmers should aim to have done before Christmas. Click on the video to learn more.

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