Minnesota farmers must report prevented planting acreage to their local USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) office by July 15, 2013. FSA State Executive Director Debra Crusoe notes, "Due to an unseasonably cool and wet spring, planting has been significantly delayed or prevented in many areas of Minnesota this crop year." Crusoe continues, "Farmers must remember to visit their local FSA office before July 15 to report all their crop acreage, including that which has been prevented from planting."
USDA policy requires farmers who request prevented planting credit to report the applicable acreage to FSA on form FSA-578 (Report of Acreage) and file form CCC-576 (Notice of Loss) within 15 calendar days after the final planting date for the crop. Final planting dates vary by crop but are all typically well before the final acreage reporting date of July 15.
For 2013, however, FSA has simplified the process due to the widespread disaster situation by extending the various prevented planting acreage reporting deadlines for Minnesota to coincide with the final crop acreage reporting date of July 15, 2013. Prevented planting acreage reported on CCC-576 and FSA-578 after this date may be subject to late filing fees.
NOTE: The extension of the signup for prevented planting applies ONLY to FSA paperwork and NOT to your crop insurance claim. The last dates for reporting to your crop insurance agent remain as always, within 72 hours of the last day of the late planting period.
Direct and Counter Cyclical Program (DCP) participants that claim prevented planting and don't plant a subsequent crop on that acreage are required to have an acceptable cover crop on all crop base acreage to protect the land from erosion. The cover crop cannot be hayed, grazed or otherwise harvested before November 1, 2013. Information on approved cover crops for Minnesota is available at local FSA offices.
Farmers with highly erodible land are reminded they are required to follow a conservation plan to retain conservation compliance eligibility. If the weather conditions change a farmer's planting plans, they need to ensure they still follow an acceptable conservation plan.
State Executive Director Crusoe also reminds farmers that it is important to accurately report failed and prevented planted acreage for crop insurance purposes and in the event future disaster programs are made available through USDA.
For more information about the programs administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.