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Deadline to report fall-seeded crops is Nov. 15

Editor's note: The following information was provided by Steve Frericks, director of the Douglas County Farm Service Agency.

The average farmer gets around 40 opportunities to harvest their crops. Experienced farmers who have been around agriculture for any measurable time, will tell you that every year is different. This past year has proven that they know what they are talking about. August in Minnesota was anything but average with below average temps and significant rainfall. This weather pattern truly has affected the maturity of the commodity crops grown in the area. The chill in the evening air undoubtedly gets us thinking about a killing frost. Let's stop talking about that and be hopeful that this is at least a few weeks out.

The Douglas County FSA Office wishes to remind producers that the deadline to report any 2018 fall seeded crops, forages and pasture is November 15, 2017. If you plant winter wheat, rye or other fall seeded crops, this pertains to you. Any forages including Alfalfa, Mixed Forages and Pasture Land would also need to be certified timely by this date. Failure to report by the deadline will result in a late filing fee. Stop by the office with planting dates to complete the process.

The fall program payment cycle is fast approaching for those programs that have an approved payment. If you have changed bank accounts or have a new account that program funds should be direct deposited into, please provide the office with documentation for processing that change. All eligibility documents must be in place before payment for any programs can be processed. If you have received any of these documents, it is imperative to get them returned to the office by Sept. 29, 2017 for processing. Eligible payment processing begins in early October. Please call your bank and identify if funds have been deposited prior to calling the office with this question.

Noxious weeds in the county are a common concern and CRP is no exception. Late fall is a great time to control established thistles. If you are considering CRP as an option for the required MN Buffer Law, please stop in the office to discuss what opportunities are available. The 2014 Farm Bill capped CRP Contract acreage enrollment at 24 million acres. Current day numbers are near that cap. Please visit with the FSA staff regarding the enrollment process and eligibility.

Dairy producers now have the opportunity to opt out of the 2018 MPP Enrollment year. A dairy operation that chooses to opt out for coverage year 2018 is not required to submit CCC-782 during the 2018 annual coverage election period and would not have to pay the annual administrative fee of $100 for 2018. The option to opt out only applies to coverage year 2018 and dairy operations that choose to opt out would not receive any benefits if payments are triggered for 2018. Please call the office to notify us of that intent.

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers who have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs. Producers who suffer eligible livestock, honeybee, or farm-raised fish losses from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017 must file:

• A notice of loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent or by Nov. 1, 2017

• An application for payment by Nov. 1, 2017

The staff here at the Douglas County FSA Office wish all our local producers a safe, productive and profitable harvest. Many farm accidents are avoidable, taking a little extra time can make all the difference. You all should be proud of the job you have done this past year.

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