Acreage reports due June 1 for small grains

Accurate and timely acreage reports must be filed by participating program producers each year through 2012 for all planted farm cropland acres as a condition to receiving loan payments through five programs.

The programs are Direct & Counter-Cyclical, Average Crop Revenue Election, Conservation Reserve Program, Loan Deficiency Program and Commodity Credit Corp.

In some instances, USDA benefits are dependent upon respective acreage amounts that are reported.

A June 1 deadline is established to file wheat, barley, oats and any other small-grain seedings on program-enrolled farms. Producers are expected to identify field boundaries and locations on aerial maps where crops are planted, as well as provide actual planting dates.

Starting in 2009, eligible pulse crop acres may be added to a farm?s base acreage. The calculation of pulse crop base acres and yield is based on the acreage and yield history from 1998 through 2001.

Pulse crop are identified as dry peas?intended use must be seed or dry edible?lentils and chickpeas. Pulse crop base acres are only eligible for ACRE payments through the 2012 crop year.

Acreage reports or certifications are accepted from farm operators, owners or persons with authorized power of attorney for either. Those who have not yet reported should contact the county Farm Service Agency office at 620-382-3714 to schedule an appointment soon.

Late-filed acreage reports may be accepted after the June 1 deadline, but mandatory fees will be charged. Producers should also be aware that all Kansas CRP contract acres are in the nesting and nondisturbance period until July 16 to provide and protect wildlife habitat and permit natural, unconstrained vegetative growth.

This restricts whole-field or widespread mowing, tillage or herbicide spray operations from being performed. Limited disturbances such as spot treatments to solve specific practice maintenance problems are allowable.

To avoid contract violations, all CRP producers should obey use rules as they apply to their CRP acres. Examples of CRP violations include:

n Use as trash disposal areas;

n Building construction sites;

n Storage or parking of equipment or machinery;

n Establishing permanent passage roads;

n Cosmetic or hunting lane mowings;

n Installing oil/gas wells.

FSA county offices will be conducting annual inspections of CRP acres over the course of the year to determine condition and proper compliance by producers.

Failure to maintain CRP by prescribed federal conservation plans can create severe payment reduction assessments or contract terminations.

Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office.

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