Eligible producers must apply for coverage and pay the
applicable service fees annually by the application closing date
for the crop in the administrative county by pay crop, pay type,
and coverage options.
USDA Encourages Producers to Consider NAP Risk Protection
Coverage before Crop Sales Deadlines
The Farm Service Agency encourages producers to examine
available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal
crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
(NAP) coverage, before the applicable crop sales deadline.
Producers are reminded that crops not covered by insurance may
be eligible for NAP. Beginning, underserved and limited resource
farmers are now eligible for free catastrophic level coverage.
NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no
permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including
perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables,
mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf
grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.
Producers can determine if crops are eligible for federal crop
insurance or NAP by visiting
https://webapp. rma.usda.gov/apps/ Actuarial
Deadlines for coverage vary by state and crop. To learn more
about NAP visit
www.fsa.usda.gov/nap or contact your local USDA
Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Centers go to
USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding for Underserved Groups
and Beginning Farmers
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that FSA
offers targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to
assist underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers and
USDA defines underserved applicants as a group whose members
have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice
because of their identity as members of the group without regard
to their individual qualities. For farm loan program purposes,
targeted underserved groups are women, African Americans,
American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics and Asians and
Underserved or beginning farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain
commercial credit from a bank can apply for either FSA direct
loans or guaranteed loans. Direct loans are made to applicants
by FSA. Guaranteed loans are made by lending institutions who
arrange for FSA to guarantee the loan. FSA can guarantee up to
95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. The
FSA guarantee allows lenders to make agricultural credit
available to producers who do not meet the lender's normal
The direct and guaranteed loan program provides for two types of
loans: farm ownership loans and farm operating loans. In
addition to customary farm operating and ownership loans, FSA
now offers Microloans through the direct loan program. The focus
of Microloans is on the financing needs of small, beginning
farmer, niche and non-traditional farm operations. Microloans
are available for both ownership and operating finance needs. To
learn more about microloans, visitwww.fsa.usda.gov/microloans.
To qualify as a beginning producer, the individual or entity
must meet the eligibility requirements outlined for direct or
guaranteed loans. Additionally, individuals and all entity
members must have operated a farm for less than 10 years.
Applicants must materially or substantially participate in the
For more information on FSA’s farm loan programs and targeted
underserved and beginning farmer guidelines, visit
Breaking New Ground
Agricultural producers are reminded to consult with FSA and NRCS
before breaking out new ground for production purposes as doing
so without prior authorization may put a producer’s federal farm
program benefits in jeopardy. This is especially true for land
that must meet Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland
Conservation (WC) provisions.
Producers with HEL determined soils are required to apply
tillage, crop residue and rotational requirements as specified
in their conservation plan.
Producers should notify FSA as a first point of contact prior to
conducting land clearing or drainage type projects to ensure the
proposed actions meet compliance criteria such as clearing any
trees to create new cropland, then these areas will need to be
reviewed to ensure such work will not risk your eligibility for
Landowners and operators complete the form AD-1026 - Highly
Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC)
Certification to identify the proposed action and allow FSA to
determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) for further review is necessary.
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
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, visithttp://offices.usda.gov.
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 area.
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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 cover.
Annual mowing of CRP for generic weed control, or for cosmetic
purposes, is prohibited at all times.
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
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
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
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 rights.
Marketing Assistance Loans Available for 2018 Crops
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized 2014-2018 crop year Marketing
Assistance Loans (MAL’s) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP’s).
MAL’s provide financing and marketing assistance for 2018 crop
wheat, feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, pulse crops, wool
and honey. MAL’s 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 a MAL, but agrees to forgo the
loan, may obtain an LDP if such a payment is available.
To be eligible for a 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 Fact Sheet.
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. Eligible producers must have purchased NAP
coverage for 2019 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.
Update Your Records
FSA is cleaning up our producer record database. If you have any
unreported changes of address, zip code, phone number, email address
or an incorrect name or business name on file they need to be
reported to our office. Changes in your farm operation, like the
addition of a farm by lease or purchase, need to be reported to our
office as well. Producers participating in FSA and NRCS programs are
required to timely report changes in their farming operation to the
County Committee in writing and update their CCC-902 Farm Operating
If you have any updates or corrections, please call your local FSA
office to update your records.
Maintaining the Quality of Farm-Stored Loan Grain
Bins 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
If loan 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. 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.
February Interest Rates and
Important Dates to Remember
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[USDA Farm Service Agency]
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).