I can remember as a child hearing "don't put
off until tomorrow what can be done today" and now as an adult
I know how true that statement is.
Since shares and ownership of a farm can change
year-to-year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each
The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for
the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial
assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 crop should
crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or
revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who
made their elections in previous years must still enroll during
the 2018 enrollment period.
The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the
2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers
when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for
covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, canola,
large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain
sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas,
rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes
short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans,
sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered
commodity. For more details regarding these programs, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
For more information, producers are encouraged to
visit their local FSA office. To find a local FSA office,
Sign-up Now To Receive Text Notifications From
Your Local County FSA Office
FSA State Office is informing farmers and
ranchers they can now receive notifications from their local
county offices through text messages on their cell phone.
Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor
or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and
stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go.
Producers will receive text messages regarding important program
deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates.
Please contact your local County FSA office if
you have questions regarding FSA’s email news service or the new
text message option.
Producers can text IL(and their local county name) to
FSANOW (372669) to subscribe to text message alerts. Standard
text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for
details associated with your particular data plan. Participants
may unsubscribe at any time.
Annual Review of Payment Eligibility for New Crop
All participants of FSA programs who request
program benefits are required to submit a completed CCC-902
(Farming Operation Plan) and CCC-941 Average Gross Income (AGI)
Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information to be
considered for payment eligibility and payment limitation
applicable for the program benefits.
Participants are not required to annually submit
new CCC-902s for payment eligibility and payment limitation
purposes unless a change in the farming operation occurs that
may affect the determination of record. A valid CCC-902 filed
by the participant is considered to be a continuous
certification used for all payment eligibility and payment
limitation determinations applicable for the program benefits
Participants are responsible for ensuring that
all CCC-902 and CCC-941 and related forms on file in the county
office are correct at all times. Participants are required to
timely notify the county office of any changes in the farming
operation that may affect the determination of record by filing
a new or updated CCC-902 as
Changes that may require a NEW determination
include, but are not limited to, a change of:
Shares of a contract, which may reflect:
-A land lease from cash rent to share rent
-A land lease from share rent to cash rent
(subject to the cash rent tenant rule)
-A modification of a variable/fixed bushel-rent
The size of the producer’s farming operation
by the addition or reduction of cropland that may affect the
application of a cropland factor
The structure of the farming operation,
including any change to a member's share
The contribution of farm inputs of capital,
land, equipment, active personal labor, and/or active
Farming interests not previously disclosed on
CCC-902 including the farming interests of a spouse or minor
Financial status that may affect the 3-year
average for the determination of average AGI or other
changes that affects eligibility under the average adjusted
gross income limitations.
Participants are encouraged to file or review
these forms within the deadlines established for each applicable
program for which program benefits are being requested.
Power of Attorney
For those who find it difficult to visit the county office
personally because of work schedules, distance, health, etc.,
FSA has a power of attorney form available that enables you to
designate another person to conduct your business at the
office. If you are interested, please contact our office or any
Farm Service Agency office near you for more information. Power
of Attorney provisions do not apply to farm loan programs.
CRP Participants Must Maintain Approved Cover on Acreages
Enrolled in CRP and Farm Programs
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants are responsible
for ensuring adequate, approved vegetative and practice cover is
maintained to control erosion throughout the life of the
contract after the practice has been established. Participants
must also control undesirable vegetation, weeds (including
noxious weeds), insects and rodents that may pose a threat to
existing cover or adversely impact other landowners in the
All CRP maintenance activities, such as mowing, burning, disking
and spraying, must be conducted outside the primary nesting or
brood rearing season for wildlife, which for Illinois is April
15 through August 1. However, spot treatment of the acreage may
be allowed during the primary nesting or brood rearing season
if, left untreated, the weeds, insects or undesirable species
would adversely impact the approved cover. In this instance,
spot treatment is limited to the affected areas in the field and
requires County Committee approval prior to beginning the spot
treatment. The County Committee will consult with NRCS to
determine if such activities are needed to maintain the approved
Annual mowing of CRP for generic weed control, or for cosmetic
purposes, is prohibited at all times.
Report Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) Losses
The Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides
financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when
low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due
to natural disasters including excessive wind and qualifying
drought (includes native grass for grazing).
Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2018
crops. A notice of loss must be filed the earlier of 15 days of
the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent or
15 days of the final harvest date.
Eligible crops must be commercially produced agricultural
commodities for which crop insurance is not available, including
perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables,
mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf
grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.
For more information on NAP, contact your local FSA office or
Loans for Targeted Underserved Producers
FSA has a number of loan programs available to assist applicants
to begin or continue in agriculture production. Loans are
available for operating type loans and/or to purchase or improve
farms or ranches.
While all qualified producers are eligible to apply for these
loan programs, FSA has provided priority funding for members of
targeted underserved applicants.
A targeted underserved applicant is one of a group whose members
have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice
because of his or her identity as members of the group without
regard to his or her individual qualities.
For purposes of this program, targeted underserved groups are
women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives,
Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
FSA loans are only available to applicants who meet all the
eligibility requirements and are unable to obtain the needed
Farm Loan Graduation Reminder
FSA Direct Loans are considered a temporary source of credit
that is available to producers who do not meet normal
underwriting criteria for commercial banks.
FSA periodically conducts Direct Loan graduation reviews to
determine a borrower’s ability to graduate to commercial
credit. If the borrower’s financial condition has improved to a
point where they can refinance their debt with commercial
credit, they will be asked to obtain other financing and
partially or fully pay off their FSA debt.
By the end of a producer’s operating cycle, the Agency will send
a letter requesting a current balance sheet, actual financial
performance and a projected farm budget. The borrower has 30
days to return the required financial documents. This
information will be used to evaluate the borrower’s potential
for refinancing to commercial credit.
If a borrower meets local underwriting criteria, FSA will send
the borrower’s name, loan type, balance sheet and projected cash
flow to commercial lenders. The borrower will be notified when
loan information is sent to local lenders.
If any lenders are interested in refinancing the borrower’s
loan, FSA will send the borrower a letter with a list of lenders
that are interested in refinancing the loan. The borrower must
contact the lenders and complete an application for commercial
credit within 30 calendar days.
If a commercial lender rejects the borrower, the borrower must
obtain written evidence that specifies the reasons for rejection
and submit to their local FSA farm loan office.
If a borrower fails to provide the requested financial
information or to graduate, FSA will notify the borrower of
noncompliance, FSA’s intent to accelerate the loan, and appeal
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Farm Storage Facility Loans
FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides
low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage
facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures,
equipment and storage and handling trucks.
The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent
facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include corn,
grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor
oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas
and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and
vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple
sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry
(unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that
maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water).
Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage
facilities for eligible commodities.
Loans up to $100,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security
agreement Loans exceeding $100,000 require additional security.
Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit
availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse
range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized
businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers
markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved producers.
To learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan, visit
www.fsa. usda.gov/pricesupport or
contact your local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county
Marketing Assistance Available for 2017
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized 2014-2018 crop year Marketing
Assistance Loans (MALs) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs).
MALs provide financing and marketing assistance for 2017 crop wheat,
feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, pulse crops, wool and
honey. MALs provide producers interim financing after harvest to
help them meet cash flow needs without having to sell their
commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows.
A producer who is eligible to obtain an MAL, but agrees to forgo the
loan, may obtain an LDP if such a payment is available.
To be eligible for an MAL or an LDP, producers must have a
beneficial interest in the commodity, in addition to other
requirements. A producer retains beneficial interest when control
of and title to the commodity is maintained. For an LDP, the
producer must retain beneficial interest in the commodity from the
time of planting through the date the producer filed Form
CCC-633EZ (page 1) in the FSA County Office. For more
information, producers should contact their local FSA county office
or view the LDP
Deadlines Approaching for FSA Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs
Livestock producers are reminded that deadlines for the Livestock
Indemnity Program (LIP) are quickly approaching.
Producers with eligible livestock losses must submit a LIP
application for payment by March 31, 2018. LIP provides assistance
to eligible producers for 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
For 2017, eligible LIP losses must occur on or after Jan. 1, 2017,
and no later than 60 calendar days from the ending date of the
applicable adverse weather event or attack. A notice of loss must
be filed with FSA within 30 days of when the loss of livestock is
Participants must provide the following supporting documentation to
their local FSA office no later than 90 calendar days after the end
of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition
Proof of death documentation
Copy of growers contracts
Proof of normal mortality documentation
Please contact your local FSA office to apply for LIP benefits.
Conduct USDA Business Online by Creating an eAuthentication Account
The Internet allows you, the customer, access to USDA information 24
hours a day, seven days a week. You can fill out and submit
electronic forms (eForms) any time of the day or night from anywhere
you have Internet access. This new service delivery option allows
you to complete and file your own forms or applications online,
because your signature is already electronically "on file."
Information submitted to the Federal Government remains safe and
secure because every customer has a unique User ID and password;
only authorized USDA employees can access your information. It's
safe, saves paper, saves a visit to your local USDA Service Center
and provides electronic tracking of all your USDA transactions.
How to Sign Up for eAuth:
Begin the process by reviewing the information at the USDA Website https://www.eauth.usda.gov.
This website describes the services available for Level 1 and Level
2 Accounts. Level 1 and Level 2 accounts require that you have an
email address so you can register, create a customer profile, and be
able to respond to a confirmation email. Level 1 Accounts do not
require you to provide proof of your identity at a local USDA
Service Center. Level 1 Accounts provide limited access to certain
USDA Web site portals that require no authentication or
authorization. A Level 2 Account does require a visit to a USDA
Service Center with proof of your identity. That is because a Level
2 account allows you access to complete and submit documents and
LEVEL 1 ACCOUNT
STEP 1. To obtain a Level 1 Account, you may self-register online
Scroll down and click on the button that says “Sign Up for a Level 1
Account.” Complete the brief customer profile.
STEP 2. You will receive a confirmation email, and you must respond
to it within 7 days to activate your account.
LEVEL 2 ACCOUNT
STEP 1. To obtain a Level 2 Account, you must complete an 18
question customer profile and prove your identity by presenting
state or federal photo ID at a local USDA Service Center. Go towww.eauth.egov.usda.gov,
scroll down and click on “Sign Up for a Level 2 Account.” Complete
your customer profile, which includes designating your user ID and
password created by you, contact information and email information.
The data you enter in your customer profile must match the data on
the document you use as identification at your local USDA Service
Center. Example: Your first and last names and address must match
the government-issued photo ID you plan to use to prove your
identity. Identify proof can only be verified by one of the
following documents: Current State Driver’s License, State Photo ID,
US Military ID, or United States Passport.
STEP 2. After completing your customer profile and submitting it
online, you will receive a confirmation email, and you must respond
to it within 7 days to activate your account.
STEP 3. Then you must complete the “Identify Proofing” process by
visiting a local USDA Service Center. You will be required to
present the eligible photo ID to an USDA employee who will verify
your identity and enter the expiration date of the ID document used.
STEP 4. The USDA employee then will update your customer profile to
a Level 2 Account. You will have access to USDA online applications
and forms within one hour of your account being updated.
You now have access to complete and submit documents and forms
electronically. USDA continues to update and make more forms and
programs available electronically.
The Census of Agriculture is a Producer's Voice, Future, and
In December farmers and ranchers across the nation received the 2017
Census of Agriculture. Producers can mail in their completed census
form, or respond online via the improved web questionnaire. The
online questionnaire has been revised extensively to make it more
convenient for producers.
Conducted once every five years, the census of agriculture is a
complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate
them; it is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial
agriculture data for every state and county in the nation.
Farmers and ranchers, trade associations, government, extension
educators, researchers, and many others rely on census of
agriculture data when making decisions that shape American
agriculture – from creating and funding farm programs to boosting
services for communities and the industry. The census of agriculture
is a producer's voice, future, and opportunity.
For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit
www.ag census.usda.gov or
January Interest Rates and
Important Dates to Remember
Illinois Farm Service Agency
3500 Wabash Ave
Springfield, IL 62711
Phone: 217-241-6600 ext. 2
State Executive Director:
William J. Graff
James Reed - Chairperson
Martin Barbre - Member
Melanie DeSutter - Member
Ron Moore - Member
Troy Uphoff - Member
To find contact information for your local office go to
USDA is an equal opportunity
provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of
discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for
Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW,
Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer
Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642
(Relay voice users).