Farmers must report acreage by Aug. 1

Farmers planning to receive farm-program payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are required by the 2002 Farm Bill to file acreage reports for all crop land on the farm as a condition of receiving payments beginning this year.

Producers have until Aug. 1 to file their final acreage reports. Under the old farm bill, producers had to report crop acres only for contract commodities for which they wanted a payment, and for fruits and vegetables.

The new law requires them to report all cropland acreage, which may include converted pasture and hay land.

The requirement to report all crop land on the farm is a condition for receiving direct payments, counter-cyclical payments, loan deficiency payments and marketing assistance loans beginning with the 2002 crop year.

Late-filed acreage reports will be accepted for crops where the reporting deadline has already passed, but late-filed fees will be applied. Late-filed acreage reports filed only to determine bases for direct and counter-cyclical payments will not be charged a late-filed fee.

Producers who earlier this year filed acreage reports for contact commodities only will have to refile reports to include all crop land.

The Farm Service Agency regrets any inconvenience this may cause producers who have already filed a report, but relatively few producers may only be affected to refile.

Bill Harmon is executive director for the Farm Service Agency in Marion County. He can be reached at his Marion office by calling 620-382-3714 .

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