Producers need to verify planted acreage by Aug. 31

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BILL HARMON-FSA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that producers should verify and update records of planted acres covering years 1998-2001 that are being provided to them in notices from their local county Farm Service Agency offices.

This information, required by the new 2002-2007 farm bill, must be correct in order to receive accurate program payments in the future.

All Marion County farm operators and owners have been mailed a notification letter and Summary Acreage History Report on a per-farm basis to review.

If the information on these reports is correct, producers do not need to take any action. If the information is wrong, producers will need to provide verifiable documentation of acreage and yields to the county FSA office by Aug. 31. This documentation may include seed receipts, production records and certain types of crop-insurance records.

The new farm law, titled the “Farm Security and Rural Investment Act,” gives farmers several options for establishing and updating base acres. Once bases and yield levels are selected, producers can go through the enrollment process and begin receiving benefit payments.

Also, as a result of the new farm law, FSA will require a new power of attorney (Form FSA-211) be completed between any parties that wish to continue using delegated authorities to perform FSA program-related transactions for 2002 and subsequent years.

A letter will be sent to applicable individuals who have current power of attorneys on file with instructions on how to refile a new FSA-211. A properly executed FSA-211 must be on file in the county FSA office to authorize anyone to act as an agent on your behalf.

The FSA-211 power of attorney form is available online at http:// forms.sc.egov.gov.

Bill Harmon is executive director of the Farm Service Agency for Marion County.

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