FSA asks producers to vote in county committee election

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

There is just one week left to vote in the Saline County Committee election.

Ballots have been mailed to eligible voters and completed ballots must be returned, either by mail or in person, to the FSA office by December 5, 2011.

Local Administrative Area 1 is up for election this year in Saline County, and includes Arrow Rock, Cambridge, Clay and Salt Fork Townships.

Producers are strongly encouraged to vote because the county committee members play a huge role in the Agency, especially at the county level.

--County committee members make decisions on how federal farm programs will be administered locally.

--County committee members are elected to office by their peers and serve as the representative voice for agriculture producers in the county, and they are responsible for communicating with USDA to ensure that national programs are adapted to fit local needs.

--County committees are responsible for making decisions on issues including commodity loans and payments, conservation programs, disaster assistance programs and emergency programs.

Minority and female producers are encouraged to serve as county committee members in the future.

--It is important that the county committee is comprised of members who reflect the demographics of the local agriculture community.

Farmers and ranchers in Local Administrative Area 1 who participate in FSA programs are eligible to vote.

If eligible voters did not receive a ballot by mail, and believe they should have contact the FSA office to obtain one.

Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 5, 2011.

New county committee members will assume their position in January.

Selling land

If you're planning to sell farmland, there may be some program consequences you should be aware of.

For example, if you're planning to sell land that's enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, the buyer has the option to succeed to the CRP contract if they want to.

But FSA has no requirement they do so.

If the buyer doesn't want to continue the CRP contract, the contract will be terminated and FSA will require refunds from the original contract holders.

Reviewing program implications with your local FSA staff before completing a sale of farmland can help prevent issues.



When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary.

The reconstitution -- or recon -- is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation.

There are four different methods of dividing base acres

--Estate Method -- the division of bases, allotments and quotas for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate, according to a will or other legal document;

--Designation of Landowner Method:

In order to use this method the land sold must have been owned for at least three years, and the buyer and seller must have a signed agreement of how the base will be divided;

--DCP Cropland Method -- the division of bases in the same proportion that the DCP cropland for each resulting tract relates to the DCP cropland on the parent tract;

--Default Method -- the division of bases for a parent farm with each tract maintaining the bases attributed to the tract level when the reconstitution is initiated in the system.

If you have questions about these methods, please contact the office prior to a sale occurring.