LINCOLN, Neb., June 13, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Nebraska State Executive Director Dan Steinkruger reminds farmers and ranchers of the July 15 deadline to file crop certification reports with county FSA offices.
To comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, producers must file an accurate crop certification report for all spring-seeded crops by July 15, 2016. Acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) also must be certified with FSA by this date.
“Once producers have completed spring planting, it is important for them to certify their acres with our county offices by the deadline in order to retain eligibility for important farm safety net benefits,” said Steinkruger.
The deadline to report fall-seeded and perennial forage crops for the 2016 crop year was Nov. 15, 2015. However, if these crops were not reported timely with FSA last fall, they can still be reported if late-filing requirements are met.
According to Steinkruger, there are some exceptions to the above acreage reporting dates, so producers should check with their county FSA office.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.
Through a new USDA process called the Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI), farmers and ranchers now can file their crop acreage reports with either FSA or participating insurance providers approved by the Risk Management Agency (RMA). The common reporting information then will be electronically shared between the two agencies.
Producers must still visit both FSA and their crop insurance representative to validate and sign acreage reports and complete maps.
“ACRSI saves time for the producer and the county FSA staff by avoiding redundant and duplicative reporting and reduces the chance for data entry errors,” said Steinkruger.
Continuing efforts to increase efficiencies for both the producer and county office staff, FSA also has instituted a continuous acreage certification process for CRP and specific perennial forage crops. This continuous certification process allows for a producer to report and certify acreage once to FSA, and in subsequent years that acreage will be considered fully certified, eliminating the requirement for producers to annually submit the acreage report to FSA for these crops.
Producers should note the continuous certification is only available for the following crops: CRP, all grass types, certain mixed forages and perennial forages. All other crops will still require annual certification, so producers are encouraged to inquire with their local FSA office for details.
CRP acres reported and certified for the 2016 crop year will automatically be considered certified for subsequent years until the CRP contract expires or is terminated.
“Continuous certification for eligible perennial forage crops is optional and may be elected by producers at any time once an acreage report for the perennial forage crop is certified,” said Steinkruger.
Once elected into continuous certification, the acreage will be considered timely certified in all future years unless a change occurs within the FSA records. Changes that would result in a termination of the continuous certification include change to producers on the farm or a change to the crop or acreage enrolled in continuous certification.
For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the local county FSA office. To locate an FSA office visit http://offices.usda.gov.