USDA Reminds Farmers to Certify Conservation Compliance by June 1 Deadline

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) with their local USDA Service Center by June 1, 2015. The 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to have the form on file in order to remain eligible, or to become eligible for crop insurance premium support.

Many farmers already have a certification form on file since it’s required for participation in most USDA programs including marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans and disaster assistance. However, farmers who only participate in the federal crop insurance program must now file a certification form to receive crop insurance premium support. These producers might include specialty crop farmers who may not participate in other USDA programs.

“USDA is making every effort possible to get the word out about this new Farm Bill provision,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We’ve deployed a variety of informational documents and online resources including fact sheets, frequently asked questions and brochures to help farmers understand what they need to do. We’ve also conducted informational meetings and training sessions for nearly 6,000 stakeholders across the country. We want to make sure that those who are required to act do so by the June 1 deadline. We want all eligible producers to be able to maintain their ability to protect their operations with affordable crop insurance.”

USDA has conducted extensive outreach over the past year, especially to producers who only participate in the federal crop insurance program and may be subject to conservation compliance for the first time. Along with the outreach done by crop insurance agents and companies, USDA efforts have included letters, postcards, phone calls, producer meetings and interaction with stakeholder groups to help them reach their members. While there are procedures in place to correct good faith errors and omissions on certification forms, the deadline cannot be waived or extended and a form must be filed by June 1.

The Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form AD-1026 is available at local USDA Service Centers or online at www.fsa.usda.gov/AD1026form.When a farmer completes this form, USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff will identify any additional actions that may be required for compliance with highly erodible land and wetland provisions. USDA’s Risk Management Agency, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, manages the federal crop insurance program.