Producers are Encouraged to Report Prevented Planting
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers to report
prevented planting in order to establish or retain FSA program
eligibility for some programs.
Producers should report crop acreage they intended to plant, but
due to a natural disaster, were prevented from planting, to FSA
on form CCC-576 Notice of Loss within 15 calendar days after
(but not before) the final planting date for that crop.
Due to the extraordinary weather events Illinois has experienced
in crop year 2019, Illinois FSA State Executive Director (SED),
William Graff, has approved an extension to all Counties in
Illinois, for producers without insurance or NAP coverage, to
file a prevented planting claim by the final acreage reporting
date of the crop.
For crop year 2019, all producers without insurance or NAP
coverage, can file a prevented planted claim, no later than the
final acreage reporting date of the crop, and be considered
timely filed for FSA purposes.
Producers with crop insurance, that timely filed a prevented
planted claim with their insurance company, will be considered
timely filed for FSA purposes, regardless of when the CCC-576,
Notice of Loss form is received. Data from Risk Management
Agency (RMA) or proper evidence provided by the producer that
the prevented planted claim was filed timely with the insurance
company can be accepted by FSA, to prove a timely filed
prevented planting claim to RMA.
Farm Service Agency County Committee Nominations Open June 14
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin accepting
nominations for county committee members on Friday, June 14,
2019. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an
FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county
committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a
FSA encourages America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest stewards
to nominate candidates to lead, serve, and represent their
community on their county committee. There is an increasing need
for diverse representation including underserved producers,
which includes beginning, women and minority farmers and
Committees make important decisions about how federal farm
programs are administered locally. Their input is vital on how
FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation,
commodity and price support programs, county office employment
and other agricultural issues.
Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the
agricultural community serve on FSA county committees. The
committees are made up of three members and typically meet once
a month. Members serve three-year terms. Producers serving on
our FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day
operations of the agency.
Producers should visit their local FSA office today to find out
how to get involved in their county’s election. Check with your
local USDA service center to see if your local administrative
area is up for election this year. Organizations, including
those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also
may nominate candidates.
To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination
form. The form and other information about FSA county committee
elections are available at fsa.usda.gov/elections. All
nomination forms for the 2019 election must be postmarked or
received in the local FSA office by August 1, 2019.
Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning
November 4, 2019. Read more to learn about important election
Higher Limits Now Available on USDA Farm Loans
Higher limits are now available for borrowers interested in
USDA’s farm loans, which help agricultural producers purchase
farms or cover operating expenses. The 2018 Farm Bill increased
the amount that producers can borrow through direct and
guaranteed loans available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency
(FSA) and made changes to other loans, such as microloans and
Key changes include:
The Direct Operating Loan limit increased from $300,000
to $400,000, and the Guaranteed Operating Loan limit increased
from $ 1.429 million to $1.75 million. Operating loans help
producers pay for normal operating expenses, including machinery
and equipment, seed, livestock feed, and more.
The Direct Farm Ownership Loan limit increased from
$300,000 to $600,000, and the Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loan
limit increased from $1.429 million to $1.75 million. Farm
ownership loans help producers become owner-operators of family
farms as well as improve and expand current operations.
Producers can now receive both a $50,000 Farm Ownership
Microloan and a $50,000 Operating Microloan. Previously,
microloans were limited to a combined $50,000. Microloans
provide flexible access to credit for small, beginning, niche,
and non-traditional farm operations.
Producers who previously received debt forgiveness as part of an
approved FSA restructuring plan are now eligible to apply for
emergency loans. Previously, these producers were ineligible.
Beginning and socially disadvantaged producers can now receive
up to a 95 percent guarantee against the loss of principal and
interest on a loan, up from 90 percent.
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.
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.
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
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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 http://offices.usda.gov.
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provisions were modified by the 2014
Farm Bill, which states that a producer whose total applicable
three-year average AGI exceeds $900,000 is not eligible to
receive an MLG or LDP. Producers must have a valid CCC-941 on
file to earn a market gain of LDP. The AGI does not apply to
MALs redeemed with commodity certificate exchange.
For more information and additional eligibility requirements,
please visit a nearby USDA Service Center or FSA’s website
Unauthorized Disposition of Marketing Assistance Loan 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.
USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin
USDA announced the availability of a new web-based tool –
developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – to
help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different
coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC)
The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC, a voluntary risk management
program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when
the difference between the all milk price and the average feed
cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected
by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the
Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm
Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.
The University of Wisconsin launched the decision support tool
in cooperation with FSA and funded through a cooperative
agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist. The tool
was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage
under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the
strongest financial safety net. It allows farmers to simplify
their coverage level selection by combining operation data and
other key variables to calculate coverage needs based on price
The decision tool assists producers with calculating total
premiums costs and administrative fees associated with
participation in DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be
made during the coverage year.
For more information, access the tool at fsa.usda.gov/dmc-tool.
For DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information,
visit fsa.usda.gov or contact your local USDA Service Center.
Communication is Key in Lending
Farm Service Agency (FSA) is committed to providing our farm
loan borrowers the tools necessary to be a success. A part of
ensuring this success is providing guidance and counsel from the
loan application process through the borrower’s graduation to
commercial lending institutions. While it is FSA’s commitment to
advise borrowers as they identify goals and evaluate progress,
it is crucial for borrowers to communicate with their farm loan
staff when changes occur. It is the borrower’s responsibility to
alert FSA to any of the following:
Any proposed or significant changes in the farming operation;
Any significant changes to family income or expenses;
The development of problem situations;
Any losses or proposed significant changes in security,
In addition, if a farm loan borrower cannot make payments to
suppliers, other creditors, or FSA on time, contact your farm
loan staff immediately to discuss loan servicing options. For
more information on FSA farm loan programs, visit
Changing Bank Accounts
FSA program payments are issued electronically into your bank
account. In order to make timely payments, you need to notify
your FSA servicing office if you close your account or if your
bank information is changed for whatever reason (such as your
financial institution merging or being purchased). Payments can
be delayed if FSA is not notified of changes to account and bank
For some programs, payments are not made until the following
year. For example, payments for crop year 2018 through the
Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage program aren’t
paid until 2019. If the bank account was closed due to the death
of an individual or dissolution of an entity or partnership
before the payment was issued, please notify your local FSA
office as soon as possible to claim your payment.
Transitioning Expiring CRP Land to Beginning, Veteran or
Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
Retired or retiring landowners or operators are encouraged to
transition their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to
beginning, veteran or underserved farmers or ranchers through
the Transition Incentives Program (TIP). TIP provides annual
rental payments to the retiring farmer 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. Beginning, veteran
or underserved farmers and ranchers and retiring CRP
participants may enroll in TIP beginning one year before the
expiration date of the CRP contract or August 23. For example,
if a CRP contract is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2019,
the land may be offered for enrollment in TIP beginning June 3,
2019, through August 23, 2019. The August 23 deadline allows the
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) time to complete
the TIP sustainable grazing or crop production conservation
plans. The TIP application must be submitted prior to completing
the lease or sale of the affected lands.
New landowners or renters must return the land to production
using sustainable grazing or farming methods.
For more information on TIP, visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation.
June Interest Rates and Important Dates
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Illinois Farm Service Agency
3500 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, IL 62711
Phone: 217-241-6600 ext. 2
State Executive Director:
William J. Graff
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).