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New acreage reporting requirements

SPRINGFIELD — Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive director for USDA’s Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA), is reminding producers of the new acreage reporting requirements for fall seeded small grains, forage crops, apples and peaches.

Producers of perennial forage crops (grass, hay, alfalfa, and pasture) and fall seeded small grains (wheat, rye and barley) must submit a 2013 acreage report for these crops by Dec. 15. Producers of apples and peaches must submit a 2013 acreage report for these crops by Jan. 15, 2013. These dates are also the same date for these crops to be reported to your crop insurance agent when carrying federal crop insurance. For the 2013 crop year only, late-file fees will not be assessed if reported by June 30, 2013.

In prior years, reports for these crops were not due to FSA until later in the spring and summer. This change is part of an initiative at the national level to align acreage reporting dates between FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA).

All acreage uses must be reported for a farm, including crops on non-cropland, such as hayed or grazed grassland, and other cover crops. It is also important to accurately report crops’ intended use. Intended use is used to determine eligibility in many FSA programs and cannot be revised once reported.

Also, FSA often receive requests for information about how farmers and ranchers protect the soil and water resources of our nation.

“Producers with cover crops or other crops which protect the soil through the winter months should be recognized for their contribution to a better environment,” said Giamanco.” This year demonstrates the importance of cover crops. These crops will protect the soil from erosion and hold valuable moisture through the winter months, as well as being a source of feed or bedding for livestock. In addition to holding moisture, these crops hold any available nitrogen for next year’s crop instead of letting it slip away into our streams.”

Producers should contact their local FSA county office if they are uncertain about reporting deadlines. In order to meet FSA program eligibility requirements, producers must submit timely filed acreage reports. Reports filed after the established deadlines must meet certain requirements to be accepted and producers may be charged late file fees.

For more information on FSA crop reporting requirements and other programs, visit your local FSA office or visit us online at www.fsa.usda.gov/il.

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