USDA’s DCP signup deadline June 1

Producers enrolled in the 2002-07 Direct & Counter-cyclical farm program (DCP) need to be signing their 2005 year contracts and requests and be issued associated advance payments.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized the beginning of the 2005 contract year Oct. 1, 2004, which allows producers to renew or change the payment shares on existing DCP contracts, request a 50 percent advance fiscal year 2005 direct payment beginning in December 2004 and choose whether to accept an advance counter-cyclical payment, if it becomes available.

The advance direct payment rates per bushel are: wheat, $0.26; barley, $0.12; corn, $0.14; sorghum, $0.175; and soybeans, $0.22.

Those who wish not to choose advance payments shall receive their 100 percent earnings in October 2005.

All producers have until June 1 to update and sign 2005 farm contracts although producers are urged to make their visits to the county office now during the winter season before the busy spring field work begins, to avoid a rush near the deadline.

All operators and owners who share in the DCP payments on a farm must sign the contract.

No producers on a DCP contract can receive a payment until all other individuals on the farm have signed agreeing to their established payment shares.

Contracts and signatures can be accepted after June 1, but a $100-per-farm late-filing fee shall be assessed.

We encourage producers to perform their DCP signup intentions by scheduled appointment. The Marion County FSA office can be contacted by calling 620-382-3714 and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Producers have the option to process their 2005 DCP enrollment on-line over the Internet. To do so, they must first secure a special approved user ID and password for this access capability.

This can be started by going to the following Web site:

Producers should only perform on-line DCP contract enrollment activities when there have not been any changes to the farm operation, including payment shares, from the previous year.

Otherwise, producers would be able to view every farm they have an interest in and determine the month for which they wish to receive an advance direct payment.

Once the producer successfully submits the contract, the applicable county FSA office will be able to view a report showing this submission.

Producers should keep in mind that regulations would still require any existing contract owner signatures or a current copy of a cash rental lease for the farm to be considered enrolled.

Producers who have power of attorneys for others are not able to access these producers on-line.

Producers can however, print the contract at home, sign on behalf of applicable landowner or other producer, and mail or deliver the original contract to their local FSA office.

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

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