EndRows for February 7

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Conservation reserve program general sign-up announced

USDA has announced that the next General CRP Sign-up, Sign-up 43, will run from March 12 through April 6, 2012.

CRP has a 25-year legacy of successfully protecting the nation's natural resources through voluntary participation while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the country.

Land that is not currently enrolled in CRP and land on CRP contracts that will expire September 30, 2012 may be offered during this sign-up.

Producers will make offers to plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion, and develop wildlife habitat.

FSA will rank the CRP offers according to the following Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) factors:

-- Wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage

-- Water quality benefits from reduced erosion

-- On-farm benefits from reduced erosion

-- Benefits that will likely endure beyond the contract period

-- Air quality benefits from reduced wind erosion

-- Cost

FSA collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered and will assign a point score.

After the sign-up period closes each eligible offer will be ranked in comparison to all other offers. The Secretary of Agriculture will then set the EBI threshold for accepting offers.

Because CRP is a highly competitive program, producers who would have met previous sign-up EBI cutoffs are not guaranteed acceptance for this sign-up.

The bidding process will likely take more than one office visit, but to get a head start producers can bring us a copy of the deed of the land being offered between now and March 12.

At that time, we will look at the maps and you can indicate your intentions. We will then make any needed record changes so all will be ready for the actual sign up appointment.

Then starting March 12 through April 6, contact the office to schedule your appointment to submit a CRP offer.

Accepted offers for Sign-up 43 will begin October 1, 2012.

February interest rates

The following are CCC programs' various interest rates for February, 2012:

--For 2011 commodity loans approved in February, the rate is 1.125 percent. These are nine-month non-recourse loans and the rate is subject to adjustment each succeeding January 1.

-- For Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL) with 7-year loan terms, the rate is 1.375 percent.

-- For FSFLs with 10-year loan terms, the rate is 2.0 percent.

-- For FSFLs with 12-year loan terms, the rate is 2.25 percent.

-- The interest rates for the Farm Storage Facility Loans are based on the date the loan application is "approved pending funding" by the County Committee or Sate Committee and will remain in effect for the term of the loan.

For the Farm Loan Programs, the interest rates are:

--1.375 percent for Operating Loans,

--3.375 percent for Farm Ownership and Conservation Loans,

--1.5 percent for Farm Ownership-Down Payment Loans.

For more information, contact your local FSA County Office.