Stuchlik re-elected to FSA committee

Following ballot tabulation for the 2010 Farm Service Agency County Committee election, Lost Springs area farmer and rancher Monty Stuchlik was re-elected to serve a three-year term, beginning in January.

A total of 129 votes were cast in the election, which was conducted in Local Administrative Area No. 1, representing the Durham, Tampa, Lost Springs and Lincolnville areas.

Stuchlik joins producer members Eldon Andres and Marvin Ratzlaff on the 2011 Marion County FSA Committee.

Producers who desire to meet with the committee on any concern or FSA program decision made on their farms(s) during the year should schedule an appointment through the county FSA office in Marion by calling 620-382-3714.

Farmer-elected county FSA committees serve as a vital link in the effective administration of USDA programs. Committees are responsible for carrying out federal farm programs in accordance with National guidelines and directives.

Duties include:

? Meeting periodically to make policy decisions, act on cases involving individual farmers and oversee county office operations to ensure funding is used effectively.

? Helping to ensure farmer and public understanding of FSA programs through an effective information plan.

? Offering policy recommendations to the state FSA committee.

? Conducting hearings and investigations requested by the agency.

? Supervise the annual FSA county committee election.

We express our appreciation to voters who participated in the recent election process. The county committee system can only work effectively with strong producer involvement.

Also, producers should be aware during any hazardous weather conditions during this winter season that FSA and NRCS management in local USDA Service Centers may need to close their offices temporarily to ensure the safety of employees as well as the public.

During severe inclement weather, such as intense sleet and snowfalls, please contact the county FSA office by calling 620-382-3714 prior to driving in to make sure personnel will be available to assist you with your business.

Wool, mohair deadline

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Wool and mohair producers are reminded that the final date to apply for nonrecourse marketing assistance loans or loan deficiency payments from the USDA Farm Service Agency county offices is Jan. 31 for their 2010 production.

?Producers have until Jan. 31 of the year following the year in which the wool or mohair was sheared to apply for a nine-month marketing assistance loan or loan deficiency payment,? said Adrian J. Polansky, state executive director of USDA?s Farm Service Agency in Kansas.

This deadline applies also to LDPs for unshorn pelts from unshorn lambs slaughtered in 2010.

Producers placing their wool and mohair under loan with FSA receive an established loan rate. National per pound loan rates are set at $1 for graded wool, 40 cents for ungraded wool and $4.20 for mohair. In addition, unshorn pelts are eligible for loan deficiency payment at the ungraded wool LDP rate.

When filing an LDP application, producers must have a good estimate of the pounds they want to certify. Polansky said wool or mohair must be produced and shorn from live animals of domestic origin in the United States and be of merchantable quality.

?Producers can forego putting their wool and mohair under loan and receive a loan deficiency payment instead,? Polansky said. ?In order to qualify for loans or LDPs, producers must meet the basic program eligibility requirements.?

He said producers must have owned the sheep or goats for at least 30 days before shearing, and they must retain beneficial interest from the time of shearing through either repayment of the loan or, in the case of an LDP, the date the payment is requested.

For unshorn pelts, the producer must sell the unshorn lamb for immediate slaughter or slaughter the unshorn lamb for personal use.

Producers that do not retain the wool or mohair on the farm when sheared may lose beneficial interest, which is defined as control and ownership title to that commodity, and should have filed a form CCC-633EZ Page 1 before shearing and loss of the beneficial interests. Producers must then file a CCC-633EZ Page 4 to apply for the LDP payment before the Jan. 31 deadline.

Producers should contact their local FSA office at the USDA Service Center for more information.

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

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