End Rows for Jan. 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

2009 SURE program sign-up begins on Jan. 10, 2011

The sign-up period for the 2009 crop year Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program began on Jan. 10, 2011.

SURE is one of five standing disaster programs included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.

This program provides assistance to producers who have suffered from natural disasters, and is part of the 'safety net' designed to assist farmers and ranchers who have experienced a revenue loss.

To be eligible for SURE a farm must have:

At least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance in counties designated with a primary or contiguous Secretarial disaster designation;

A policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for all economically significant crops;

Producers in counties without a primary or contiguous Secretarial disaster designation may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster.

In our area, Carroll County received a primary Secretarial designation for 2009, making Saline, Lafayette, and all other counties surrounding Carroll a contiguous designation.

Producers considered socially disadvantaged, a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without a policy or plan of insurance or NAP coverage.

Last year, sign-up the SURE program was implemented for the 2008 crop year. In Saline County, over $300,000 was disbursed for 2008 losses. For Missouri, $63.2 million was issued.

A key difference between the SURE program for 2008 versus 2009 is that 2008 included additional benefits as part of the economic stimulus legislation. This is not part of the 2009 implementation of the program.

The sign-up for 2009 losses will run through July 29, 2011.

For more information, or to set up an appointment for the SURE sign-up, contact your FSA office.

25th anniversary of CRP

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has now been in existence for 25 years.

Although it was designed to address soil erosion, the focus of CRP has expanded greatly over the years to also include a great emphasis on wildlife benefits.

At the time of its introduction as part of the 1985 farm bill, soil erosion exceeded more than 3 billion tons per year, wetlands were being drained, water quality was deteriorating, and wildlife populations were under stress due to the loss of habitat.

Since then, CRP has helped reduce soil erosion by 622 million tons, provided incrased wildlife habitat, restored more than 2 million areas of wetlands, and removed millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air.

Nationally, there are 738,000 contracts covering 31.3 million ares.

In Saline County, 800 contracts including over 14,000 acres account for more $1.2 million in annual rental, cost-share, and incentive payments.

Those interested in enrolling land in CRP should contact their FSA office.

NRCS CSP sign-up extended

The cutoff date for accepting Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications has been extended from January 7, 2011 until January 21, 2011.

Martin Luther King holiday

USDA Service Centers will be closed next Monday, January 17, 2011 to observe Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.

We will be open at our regular hours on Tuesday, Jan. 18.