Farm Service Agency highlights 2020 spring crop acreage reporting process
LINCOLN, Neb. — USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices 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:
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• 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.
USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus or http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ne. ❖
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