Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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April 1, 2014

Producers encouraged to register early

Farmers and ranchers who plan to participate in Farm Service Agency programs should register in advance. Producers are encouraged to report farm records and business structure changes to local FSA service centers before April 15, reports Juan Garcia, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s FSA administrator.

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.”

Examples of updates or changes to report include:

• New producers or those who have not reported farm records to FSA;

• Producers who have recently bought, sold or rented land. They need to ensure that changes have been reported and properly recorded by local FSA county office personnel. Reports of purchased or sold property should include a copy of the land deed, and if land has been leased, documentation should be provided that indicates the producer had/has control of the acreage;

• Producers that have changed business structures (for example, have formed a partnership or LLC) need to ensure that these relationships and shares are properly recorded with FSA. Even family farms that have records on file may want to ensure that 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 office 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 2011-14 and may be eligible for assistance through one of the four disaster programs.

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