Moving forward there is still more work to be done. At the time
of this article CFAP has generated 459,830 applications with 5.7
billion dollars being issued nationwide. Producers have until
August 28, 2020 to file an application for CFAP. WHIP + is the
other major workload in front of us. Earlier in the year
excessive rain was added to help producers qualify for crop
losses in 2019. Illinois had all 102 counties designated for
disaster due to excessive rain, contact your local office for
Due to COVID-19 our offices have been open with no face to face
contact with our customers. We have started a 3-phase process to
get back to normal. Currently most of the Illinois Offices are
at Phase 1, others are at Phase 2, which allows producers to
visit offices by appointment only. Contact your offices to see
what phase they are in.
Through this difficult time our customers and employees have
been remarkable in completing all the required tasks to deliver
FSA programs. Thanks to all of you and BE SAFE.
William J. Graff
State Executive Director
USDA Issues First Coronavirus Food
Assistance Program Payments
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has already approved more than
$545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. FSA began taking
applications May 26, and the agency has received over 86,000
applications for this important relief program.
In the first six days of the application period, FSA has already
made payments to more than 35,000 producers. Out of the gate,
the top five states for CFAP payments are Illinois, Kansas,
Wisconsin, Nebraska, and South Dakota. USDA has released data on
application progress and program payments and will release
further updates each Monday at 2:00pm ET. The report can be
viewed at farmers.gov/cfap.
FSA will accept applications through August 28, 2020. Through
CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion in financial
assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have
suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19
and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of
lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping
patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.
In order to do this, producers will receive 80 percent of their
maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The
remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment
limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain
Getting Help from FSA
New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP
application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with
a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a
recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the
FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.
Producers can download the CFAP application and other
eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also, on that webpage,
producers can find a payment calculator to help producers
identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and
calculate potential payments. Producers self-certify their
records when applying for CFAP and that documentation is not
submitted with the application. However, producers may be asked
for their documentation to support the certification of eligible
commodities, so producers should retain the information used to
complete their application.
Those who use the online calculator tool will be able to print a
pre-filled CFAP application, sign it, and submit it to your
local FSA office either electronically or via hand delivery
through an office drop box. Please contact your local office to
determine the preferred delivery method for your local office.
Team members at FSA county offices will be able to answer
detailed questions and help producers apply quickly and
efficiently through phone and online tools. Find contact
information for your local office at farmers.gov/cfap.
FSA has been working with stakeholder groups to provide further
clarification to producers on the CFAP program. For example, the
agency has published a matrix of common marketing contracts that
impact eligibility for non-specialty crops and has provided a
table that crosswalks common livestock terms to CFAP cattle
categories. Updated information can be found in the frequently
asked questions section of the CFAP website.
To find the latest information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/CFAP
or call 877-508-8364.
Guaranteed Farm Loans
FSA guaranteed loans allow lenders to provide agricultural
credit to farmers who do not meet the lender's normal
underwriting criteria. Farmers and ranchers apply for a
guaranteed loan through a lender, and the lender arranges for
the guarantee. FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of
principal and interest on a loan. Guaranteed loans can be used
for both farm ownership and operating purposes.
Guaranteed farm ownership loans can be used to purchase
farmland, construct or repair buildings, develop farmland to
promote soil and water conservation or to refinance debt.
Guaranteed operating loans can be used to purchase livestock,
farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance and
other operating expenses.
FSA can guarantee farm ownership and operating loans up to
$1,776,000. Repayment terms vary depending on the type of loan,
collateral and the producer's ability to repay the loan.
Operating loans are normally repaid within seven years and farm
ownership loans are not to exceed 40 years.
Please contact your lender or local FSA farm loan office for
more information on guaranteed loans.
Nominations Open for the 2020 County
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency
(FSA) encourages all farmers, ranchers, and FSA program
participants to take part in the Illinois County Committee
election nomination process.
FSA’s county committees are a critical component of the
day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and
local administration of federal farm programs.
Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural
producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration
of FSA farm programs in their counties. Committee members are
accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. If elected, members
become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery
A county committee is composed of three elected members from
local administrative areas (LAA). Each member serves a
three-year term. One-third of the seats on these committees are
open for election each year.
County committees may have an appointed advisor to further
represent the local interests of underserved farmers and
ranchers. Underserved producers are beginning, women and other
minority farmers and ranchers and landowners and/or operators
who have limited resources.
All nomination forms for the 2020 election must be postmarked or
received in the local USDA Service Center by Aug. 1, 2020 (or
next business day). For more information on FSA county committee
elections and appointments, refer to the FSA fact sheet:
Eligibility to Vote and Hold Office as a COC Member available
online at: fsa.usda.gov/elections.
One-Time PLC Yield Updates – Deadline
Farm owners have a one-time opportunity to
update PLC yields of covered commodities on the farm, regardless
of Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC)program
election. The deadline to request a PLC yield update is
September 30, 2020.
The updated yield will be equal to 90 percent of the average
yield per planted acre in crop years 2013-2017 (excluding any
year where the applicable covered commodity was not planted),
subject to the ratio obtained by dividing the 2008-2012 average
national yield by the 2013-2017 average national yield for the
covered commodity. If the reported yield in any year is less
than 75 percent of the 2013-2017 average county yield, then the
yield will be substituted with 75 percent of the county average
The chart below provides the ratio obtained by dividing the
2008-2012 average national yield by the 2013-2017 average
national yield for each covered commodity.
National Yield Factor
Rice, Temp Japonica
It is the owner’s choice whether to update or
keep existing PLC yields. If a yield update is not made, then no
action is required to maintain the existing PLC yield. An
existing or updated PLC yield will be maintained and effective
for crop years 2020 through 2023 (life of the 2018 Farm Bill).
PLC yields may be updated on a covered commodity-by-covered
commodity basis using FSA form CCC-867.
For more information, reference resources and decision tools,
visit farmers.gov/arc-plc. Contact your local Farm Service
Agency Office for assistance – farmers.gov/service-center-locator.
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
Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security
agreement and loans between $50,000 and $100,000 may require
additional security. Loans exceeding $100,000 require additional
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
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 office, visit
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
CRP is a voluntary program that contracts with agricultural
producers so that environmentally sensitive agricultural land is
devoted to conservation benefits. CRP participants establish
long-term, resource-conserving vegetative species, such as
approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”), to control soil
erosion, improve the water quality and enhance wildlife habitat.
In return, FSA provides participants with annual rental payments
and cost-share assistance. Continuous signup enrollment
contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration.
Under continuous CRP signup, environmentally sensitive land
devoted to certain conservation practices can be enrolled in CRP
at any time. Offers are automatically accepted provided the land
and producer meet certain eligibility requirements and the
enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap.
Unlike CRP enrollments under general CRP signups or CRP
Grasslands, offers for continuous enrollment are not subject to
competitive bidding during specific periods.
The deadline for producers to submit signed SU53 offers (CRP-2C
and CRP-1) to their local FSA office is August 21, 2020.
For more information, including a list of acceptable practices,
May Margin Triggers Dairy Margin Coverage
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA)
today announced that the May 2020 income over feed cost margin
was $5.37 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the third payment
of 2020 for dairy producers who purchased the appropriate level
of coverage under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.
To date, FSA has issued more than $176 million in program
benefits to dairy producers who purchased DMC coverage for 2020.
Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC is a voluntary risk
management program that offers protection to dairy producers
when the difference between the all-milk price and the average
feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount
selected by the producer. Over 13,000 operations enrolled in the
program for the 2020 calendar year.
Although DMC enrollment for 2020 coverage has closed, signup for
2021 coverage will begin October 13 and will run through
December 11, 2020.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some
that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by
appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct
business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service,
or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and
schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for
appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns
or recent travel and visitors must adhere to social distancing
guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face
covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with
appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will
be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in
office, by phone, and using online tools. More information can
be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
For more information, visit farmers.gov DMC webpage or contact
your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office,
CLEAR30 the first USDA program to offer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA)
will open signup this summer for CLEAR30, a new pilot program
that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a
30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. This pilot
is available to farmers and landowners with expiring
water-quality practice CRP contracts in the Great Lakes and
Chesapeake Bay regions. The program signup period is July 6 to
Aug. 21, 2020.
The pilot is available in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland,
Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia,
West Virginia and Wisconsin. Eligible producers must have
expiring Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR) initiative
contracts, including continuous CRP Cropland contracts with
water-quality practices or marginal pasturelands CRP contracts
devoted to riparian buffers, wildlife habitat buffers or wetland
[to top of second column]
The longer contracts will help ensure that practices remain in place
for 30 years, which will help reduce sediment and nutrient runoff
and help prevent algal blooms. Traditional CRP contracts run from 10
to 15 years.
Annual rental payment for landowners who enroll in CLEAR30 will be
equal to the current Continuous CRP annual payment rate plus an
inflationary adjustment of 27.5 percent, since CLEAR30 contracts
will be for 30 years – much longer than the 10 to 15-year contracts
for Continuous CRP offers.
Another unique program feature is that FSA will
help producers maintain CLEAR30 contract acreage.
USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment
only, and field work will continue with appropriate social
distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into
the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using
online tools whenever possible. Anyone wishing to conduct business
with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other
Service Center agency is required to call to schedule a phone
appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA Announces Improvements to Forage Seeding
and Forage Production Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2021 Crop
USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced changes to the Forage
Seeding and Forage Production crop insurance programs starting with
the 2021 crop year. Changes include expanding coverage to new
regions and counties, expanding coverage to fall-planted forage and
changing the method for loss adjustment.
Specifically, the changes:
Establish coverage of forage seeding for producers in 186 more
Expand coverage to fall-planted forage and align forage seeding
cancellation and termination dates with the dates for other fall
planted crops in each state.
Revise loss-adjustment procedures to rely upon the number of
live alfalfa stems rather than the number of live plants for
making loss determinations for forage containing more than 60
changes are further described in a final rule, now available on the
Federal Register at regulations.gov. Interested parties are invited
to comment on the rule for 60 days.
These changes take effect for crop year 2021 with policies that have
a contract change date of April 30, 2020, or later. Sales closing
dates follow the contract change date and vary across the country.
You should contact your crop insurance agent for their specific
sales closing date. Crop years reflect the normal growing season and
are identified by the year of harvest.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop
insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available
online using the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance
and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.
NRCS Video: Building a Constructed Wetland
Agriculture and water quality. Farmers hear a lot about the impacts
production agriculture practices can have on water and all the
natural resources, aquatic life, and wildlife dependent on water.
Many farmers work hard to use techniques and management tactics that
effectively reduce issues like soil erosion and runoff of excess
nutrients from fields. For more than 80 years, USDA’s Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has worked alongside farmers
to design and install conservation practices on the land that
protect both soil and water.
One practice, called a Constructed Wetland, has been around for a
long time. It’s a tried and true technology for treating water. You
can learn all the details, see the engineering standards and
specifications for Conservation Practice Standard 656 on the NRCS
website or you can watch this new short video and learn all about
it. The video is the latest in the Illinois NRCS Conservation Under
Construction video series, and is appropriately entitled “Building a
Last summer, NRCS worked with Illinois Central College, The Wetlands
Initiative, and the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors
Association (ILICA) to plan, design, and install a constructed
wetland. That wetland—which you’ll see being built in the video—is
now part of the College’s system of water quality practices on their
demonstration farm at the campus in East Peoria.
With the help of the Peoria County Soil and Water Conservation
District (SWCD), this video gives an inside look at what it takes to
construct this conservation solution. In the last few years, this
practice has become more popular as an effective way to remove
nitrates and other nutrients from tile drainage water.
The video, along with the others in the series, are located on the
Illinois Engineering Videos link of the Illinois NRCS engineering
website, under “Conservation Practice Guidance.” To discuss if this
solution will work on your farm, contact your local NRCS office and
make an appointment today.
Transitioning Expiring CRP Land to Beginning, Veteran or Underserved
Farmers and Ranchers
CRP contract holders are encouraged to transition their Conservation
Reserve Program (CRP) acres to beginning, veteran or socially
disadvantaged farmers or ranchers through the Transition Incentives
Program (TIP). TIP provides annual rental payments to the landowner
or operator for up to two additional years after the CRP contract
expires, provided the transition is not to a family member.
Enrollment in TIP is on a continuous basis through 2023 or until
the new statutory limit of $50 million under the 2018 Farm Bill is
CRP contract holders no longer need to be a retired or retiring
owner or operator to transition their land. TIP participants must
agree to sell, have a contract to sell, or agree to lease long term
(at least five years) land enrolled in an expiring CRP contract to a
beginning, veteran, or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher who
is not a family member.
Beginning, veteran or social disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and
CRP participants may enroll in TIP beginning two years before the
expiration date of the CRP contract. For example, if a CRP contract
is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2020, the land may be offered
for enrollment in TIP from October 1, 2020, through September 30,
2022. The TIP application must be submitted prior to completing the
lease or sale of the affected lands.
New landowners or renters that return the land to production must
use sustainable grazing or farming methods.
For more information on TIP, visit
Report Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) Losses
The Noninsured 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 freeze, hail, excessive moisture,
excessive wind or hurricanes, flood, excessive heat and qualifying
drought (includes native grass for grazing), among others.
Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2020 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.
Producers of hand-harvested crops and certain perishable crops must
notify FSA within 72 hours of when a loss becomes apparent.
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 visit
Borrower training is available for all Farm Service Agency
customers. This training is required for all direct loan applicants,
unless the applicant has a waiver issued by the agency.
Borrower training includes instruction in production and financial
management. The purpose is to help the applicant develop and improve
skills that are necessary to successfully operate a farm and build
equity in the operation. It aims to help the producer become
financially successful. Borrower training is provided, for a fee, by
agency approved vendors. Contact your local FSA Farm Loan Manager
for a list of approved vendors.
Farmers.gov Feature Enables USDA Customers to Manage Conservation
You can now manage your conservation activities and request
assistance from USDA through a new feature on farmers.gov. These
conservation features join several others already available through
the farmers.gov portal, including the ability to view farm loan
Using a desktop, tablet, or phone, the “Conservation” feature
enables you to:
View, download and e-sign documents;
Request conservation assistance;
Reference technical terms and submit questions;
Access information on current and past conservation practices;
View detailed information on all previous and ongoing contracts,
including the amount of planned and received cost-share
assistance. Currently, access is only available for customers
doing business as individuals. Entities – such as an LLC or
Trust – can’t access the portal at this time, but access is
being planned. The new feature includes the most popular aspects
from the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway (CCG), while providing
enhanced functionality and an improved user experience. CCG is
an NRCS portal for producers, but now these functionalities are
being moved to farmers.gov to create one place to do business
with NRCS, Farm Service Agency, and other USDA agencies. CCG
will be actively maintained and supported until all its core
features and functionalities have been migrated to farmers. gov
later this year.
access your conservation information, visit farmers.gov and sign
in to the site’s authenticated portal, available on the menu at
the top right of the site.
access, you will need a Level 2 USDA eAuthentication account.
How to Create an eAuth Login to Access Your Farmers.gov Account
to Create an eAuth Login to Access Your Farmers.gov Account
Contact your local service center to confirm you have a USDA
customer record with a primary email address. Use our Service
Center Locator to find your local office.
to the eAuth Account Registration page.
Select "Customer" on the registration page.
Enter your primary email address, which should match what USDA
has on your customer record. You will receive an email from
eAuthentication asking you to confirm your email address. Click
the “Continue Registration” link in this email to continue the
registration process. * Note: When you log in, your User ID will
be your email address.
Next, enter your name and set a password.
Finally, you will need to verify your identity to access your
farmers.gov account. You will be taken to a page where you will
need to provide information such as your date of birth and
residential addresAuthority for FSA and NRCS customers to work
in the portal and act on behalf of their active
power-of-attorney entitlements and their current authorities for
business entities,s, and then you can either verify your
identity online or in person at a Local Registration Authority (LRA).
You’re ready to log in!
Current CCG users can use their existing login and password to
access the Conservation features on farmers.gov.
USDA is building farmers.gov for farmers, by farmers. Future
self-service features available through the farmers.gov portal
* Authority for FSA and NRCS customers to work in the portal and
act on behalf of their active power-of-attorney entitlements and
their current authorities for business entities,
* Updated e-sign capabilities to enhance the single and
multi-signer functionalities and
* A document management system that enables customers to
download, upload and interact with their important conservation
practice and contract documents.
more information, contact your local District Conservationist to
learn more about it or sign up. Visit this NRCS website for phone
numbers and email information:
gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/contact/local/ or visit farmers.gov
Maintaining the Quality of Loaned Grain
are ideally designed to hold a level volume of grain. When bins are
overfilled and grain is heaped up, airflow is hindered and the
chance of spoilage increases.
Producers who take out marketing assistance loans and use the
farm-stored grain as collateral should remember that they are
responsible for maintaining the quality of the grain through the
term of the loan.
Unauthorized Disposition of Grain
grain has been disposed of through feeding, selling or any other
form of disposal without prior written authorization from the county
office staff, it is considered unauthorized disposition and a
violation of the terms and conditions of the Note and Security
Agreement. The financial penalties for unauthorized dispositions are
severe and a producer’s name will be placed on a loan violation list
for a two-year period. Always call before you haul any grain under
loan. If you have questions concerning the movement of grain under
loan, please contact your local county FSA office.
JULY INTEREST RATES AND IMPORTANT DATES
CLICK TO VIEW
Illinois Farm Service Agency
3500 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, Illinois 62711
Phone: 217-241-6600 ext. 2
State Executive Director:
William J. Graff
George Obernagel III-Member
To find contact information for your local office go to
Check out https://www.farmers.gov/ for information about ALL the
programs available through your local USDA Service Center FSA and
NRCS offices, including county office locations, agriculture
statistics, loan interest rates and much more!
Learn about Risk Management Agency's crop insurance programs at