If you know me, you know I don't like to give out information until I have all of the facts. You've been asking about the farm bill...here is the information from Farm Services:
SIGN-UP BEGINS FOR USDA DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS RESTORED BY FARM BILL
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for grazing losses and livestock deaths that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires.
Producers signing up for these programs are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for information on the types of records needed and to schedule an appointment. Taking these steps in advance will help producers ensure their application moves through the process as quickly as possible.
(Producers are reminded that all leases covering pastures for LFP for these years must include the following)
* Start date and ending date of the lease
* Terms of the lease (example: cash or set amount) dollar amount is not required.
* FSA Farm Number and/or acres
* All owner signatures as per the FSA farm records
Any leases other than those with this information will not be used or accepted. Producers may use an CCC-855 Disaster Program (LFP) Lease Agreement Certification Statement if needed.
Producers have three to nine months to apply depending on the program and year of the loss. Details are available from any local FSA office.
For more information, producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, and the LIP, LFP, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online, or visit any local FSA office or USDA Service Center.
USDA’S FARM SERVICE AGENCY (FSA) OFFERS FARM BILL WEBSITE AND ONLINE OVERVIEW OF FARM BILL PROGRAMS
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Act), also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, was signed by President Obama on Feb. 7, 2014. The Act repeals certain programs, continues some programs with modifications, and authorizes several new programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Most of these programs are authorized and funded through 2018.
For the latest on 2014 Farm Bill programs administered by FSA, please visit our Farm Bill website at www.fsa.usda.gov/farmbill and for an FSA program overview please read, download and/or print our recently posted FSA Farm Bill Fact Sheet titled, What’s in the 2014 Farm Bill for Farm Service Agency Customers?
For more information on FSA, please contact your local USDA Service Center or visit us online at www.fsa.usda.gov.
The 2014 Farm Bill, formally known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, makes the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) permanent programs and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to Oct. 1, 2011.
LFP provides compensation to eligible producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought and fire after October 1, 2011. LIP provides compensation to livestock producers who suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the Federal Government or protected by Federal law, including wolves and avian predators. Drought is not an eligible cause of loss for the LIP program.
USDA is determined to make implementing the livestock disaster programs a top priority and opened program enrollment on April 15, 2014.
As USDA begins implementing the livestock disaster assistance programs, producers should record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:
· Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses and dates of death.
Many producers still have questions. USDA is in the process of interpreting Farm Bill program regulations. In the meantime, producers can review the LIP and LFP Fact Sheets. Thanks for your patience as USDA works diligently to put Farm Bill programs into action to benefit the farmers and ranchers of rural America.
The 2014 Farm Bill offers increased opportunities for producers including farm loan program modifications that create flexibility for new and existing farmers. A fact sheet outlining modifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Programs is available here.
The Farm Bill expands lending opportunities for thousands of farmers and ranchers to begin and continue operations, including greater flexibility in determining eligibility, raising loan limits, and emphasizing beginning and socially disadvantaged producers.
Changes that will take effect immediately include:
· Elimination of loan term limits for guaranteed operating loans.
· Modification of the definition of beginning farmer, using the average farm size for the county as a qualifier instead of the median farm size.
· Modification of the Joint Financing Direct Farm Ownership Interest Rate to 2 percent less than regular Direct Farm Ownership rate, with a floor of 2.5 percent. Previously, the rate was established at 5 percent.
· Increase of the maximum loan amount for Direct Farm Ownership down payments from $225,000 to $300,000.
· Elimination of rural residency requirement for Youth Loans, allowing urban youth to benefit.
· Debt forgiveness on Youth Loans, which will not prevent borrowers from obtaining additional loans from the federal government.
· Increase of the guarantee amount on Conservation Loans from 75 to 80 percent and 90 percent for socially disadvantaged borrowers and beginning farmers.
· Microloans will not count toward loan term limits for veterans and beginning farmers.
Additional modifications must be implemented through the rulemaking processes. Visit the FSA Farm Bill website for detailed information and updates to farm loan programs.______________________________
Travis County FSA Office
1106 Clayton Lane Suite 210EPhone: 512-454-2571 ex. 2
Austin, Texas 78723
Austin, Texas 78723