Tag Archives: FSA

Today the FSA will start accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program  CFAP  through Aug. 28, 2020.  Nebraska FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner is reminding those in agriculture that this is a three-month enrollment period to work through.  There is an  anticipation for  a very large number of applications due to the broad scope of commodities included in this program and the likelihood that it will include customers who do not routinely do business with FSA.

The FSA has shared some key points to remember as we work through the sign up process:

 

  • Office status – While Governor Pete Ricketts continues to update Directed Health Measures that have allowed businesses to open at various levels across the state, Nebraska FSA offices are subject to direction from USDA headquarters. Currently, we remain open for business only via phone appointments and using email, mail, fax and online tools. We are not available for in-person traffic in our offices at this time. Our staff has been operating this way since mid-March, and we have many tools in place to facilitate business and complete the CFAP application process with customers.
  • With that said, please encourage folks to visit the CFAP website by typing farmers.gov/cfap into their internet browser. This website is well-organized and detailed. It has a payment calculator that will help producers understand the information needed to complete an application, and it even allows the producer to convert the data entered into the calculator into an actual application that they can print, sign, and submit to their local FSA office. We know folks are accustomed to walking into their county office for service, but we believe use of the website will be an important option for implementation in our current environment.
  • USDA has set up a toll-free number to also assist customers who have questions. That number is 877-508-8364. This can serve as a good first stop for customers so that they are better prepared for a successful county FSA office interaction, whether that be through a phone appointment or submitting an application they prepared online.
  • Regarding funding, CFAP is structured to ensure the availability of funding for all eligible producers who apply. In order to do this, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available.
  • The key phrase you will hear associated with defining whether an eligible commodity is covered through CFAP is “the commodity must be subject to price risk.” We understand that already there are specific questions as to how this applies to contracted commodities. FSA is working to update the CFAP website to further explain this issue. We will share more information on this subject as it becomes available.

In addition, Nebraska FSA will present on CFAP during two upcoming online sessions:

  • Thursday, May 28, noon-1 p.m. CT: Nebraska Farm Bureau Facebook Live Event: Watch the presentation on Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Facebook page live. The presentation will be archived for later viewing on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Facebook page and the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at www.nefb.org/covid-19.
  • Thursday, June 4, noon-1 p.m. CT: Webinar hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agricultural Economics Department as part of its series, “COVID-19’s Impact on Nebraska Ag.” To register, type go.unl.edu/manage2020 into your internet browser. The session will be recorded and available on the website after the event.

 

(LINCOLN, Nebraska) – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices in Nebraska currently are open to phone and virtual appointments only but can still work with producers on timely filing crop acreage reports. FSA staff can provide assistance over the phone, by email and through virtual meetings via a software program called Microsoft Teams.

The deadline for acreage certification is July 15, 2020. This includes common spring-planted crops, such as corn, soybeans, and grain sorghum, but also includes Conservation Reserve Program acres and perennial grass.

“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers must file an accurate crop acreage report by the deadline,” said Nancy Johner, Nebraska FSA State Executive Director. “Our FSA staff still is able to assist producers in completing acreage reports, including providing maps.”

Johner said certification plans may vary by county office, but in general customers can assist FSA by:

  • Paying close attention to email or mail from their County FSA office that outlines the process put in place for 2020 spring certification, and then follow the requested steps; and
  • Keeping good records of what is planted, where it is planted and when it was planted, and then ensuring the transfer of that information to FSA using the process outlined by their county office, as soon as possible following the completion of planting.

FSA offices are using Microsoft Teams software to virtually meet with producers to review maps and documents for certification. Producers who want to schedule a virtual appointment would download the Microsoft Teams app on their smart phone and call the FSA county office for an appointment. Producers also can use Microsoft Teams from their personal computer without downloading software.

“Producers will be able to work with their county office on available options for completing the certification process,” Johner said.

After completed maps and all acreage reporting information is received, FSA will make the certification updates and then contact the producer to acquire signatures on the completed Report of Acreage form (FSA-578).

The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting dates:

  • If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

  • If a producer acquires additional acreage after the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendar days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

Producers should also report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to natural disaster, were unable to plant. Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form CCC-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that 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.

For questions, please contact your county FSA office. To locate your county FSA office visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.