WEATHER VARIANCE NEEDED TO MAINTAIN HELC COMPLIANCE
Many landowners and operators were forced to complete their farming practices under extremely wet conditions during the 2010 growing season.
The excessive rainfall caused producers significant loss of residue which could jeopardize compliance with their farm's conservation plan.
Those that participate in USDA programs are required to stay in compliance with the highly erodible land conservation provisions of the Farm Bill.
One means to maintain compliance and resolve their problem with erosion issues involves the USDA program participant requesting a temporary variance due to the excessive rainfall.
As deemed appropriate, NRCS District Conservationists can grant such a variance that would allow the landowner/operator to restore affected areas to pre-event conditions prior to planting and avoid noncompliance.
All tracts granted this variance will be placed on the 2012 compliance review list.
Producers must request a weather variance from NRCS prior to beginning field work this year.
Contact the NRCS office for any questions.
GENERAL CRP SIGNUP PERIOD ANNOUNCED
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the next general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program will run from March 14 through April 15, 2011.
Through CRP, eligible landowners receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Land can be enrolled for a period of up to 15 years.
Contracts awarded under this signup will become effective October 1, 2011.
Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this signup provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall may make new contract offers.
Producers will be required to provide a copy of their deed during the application process.
Saline County producers interested in offering a bid may visit the county office prior to the signup period to do some preliminary work to see if the land is eligible.
FSA will evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that shows the environmental benefits to be gained from enrolling the land in CRP.
Decisions on the EBI cutoff will be made after the sign-up ends and after analyzing the EBI data of all the offers.
CRP protects millions of acres of American topsoil from erosion and is designed to safeguard the Nation's natural resources.
Through the 2008 Farm Bill, CRP is authorized for a maximum enrollment of 32 million acres.
SORGHUM CHECKOFF REFERENDUM ANNOUNCED
A referendum on the continuation of the Sorghum Checkoff Program will be held from February 1 through February 28, 2011 at county FSA offices.
Any eligible person engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from July 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010, is eligible to participate.
Sorghum Checkoff is a national, coordinated, self-help marketing program designed to:
-strengthen the position of sorghum in the marketplace,
-maintain and expand existing domestic and foreign markets and uses for sorghum,
-and develop new markets and uses for sorghum.