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Storm stories

The phrase “knee high by the Fourth of July” surely is a thing of the past.

Substantial rainfall this spring and early summer set the stage for what looked to be a promising growing season and favorable corn yields for 2014.

But then, as I watched the storms roll in the night of June 30, it was evident the previously saturated ground and the promise of additional rain with excessive winds heading our direction was going to have a negative impact on the crops in our area ... and that it did.

Throughout the county I have seen many acres where the corn has been tipped, while others experienced green snap, lodging or flooding.

If you discover areas of failed crops, you will need to report those acres to your local Farm Service Agency (FSA).

To be approved as failed acreage, the acreage must have been reported as failed acreage before the disposition of the crop (unless reported timely to RMA and will support failed acreage information reported on FSA-578); and the acreage must have been planted under normal conditions but failed as a result of a natural disaster and not a management decision.

Speaking of FSA-578 Report of Acreage, the FSA office is in the final stretch to finish up crop certification and acreage reporting prior to the July 15 deadline.

I am encouraging all Bureau County producers who have yet to certify their 2014 crops with a final reporting date of July 15, 2014, to call the office today to set up an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome, but be advised you may experience a longer wait time as we are understaffed and extremely busy.

Producers who fail to file accurate and timely acreage reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, are potentially at risk of losing FSA program benefits.

Also, producers who enrolled a farm in the 2013 ACRE program are required to submit their production reports on form FSA-658 Record of Production and Yield for the covered commodities planted on the farm by July 15.

Failure to timely report production for the covered commodities planted on ACRE farms may result in contract termination. If the contract is terminated, all payments — including direct payments previously received — plus interest, will be required to be refunded.

If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, please call our office at 815-875-8732, ext. 2, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Bureau County FSA Office is currently accepting nominations for farmers and ranchers as candidates for election to serve on the County Committee (COC).

FSA encourages all eligible producers to nominate themselves or another eligible producer to run for office.

The Local Administrative Area (LAA) up for election for 2015 includes the townships of Walnut, Ohio, Bureau, Dover, Wyanet, Princeton, Indiantown and Wheatland.

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Justina Chlum is the county executive director for the Bureau County Farm Service Agency.

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