Obviously this has been a very difficult year for most farmers, and although most of the crops were eventually planted, there are fields scattered across the county that did not get planted. On those fields farmers have been trying to make the best decisions possible with the information available, which in itself has been updated several times. The SWCD has made every effort to get the latest information to producers as soon as it reached our hands, and we continue to do that.
If you are still in a situation where you have an unplanted field, it is not too late to do something, and particularly, planting a cover crop. The federal guidelines, potential cost share, crop insurance considerations, etc., have all seemed to evolve almost daily, but below is the latest information we know of at this point in time, and the quickest way to get this to you is through this means. If you have questions, please call NRCS (765) 482-6355 Ext.3, your local FSA office Tipton (765) 675-2316, Boone (765) 482-6355, Madison (765) 644-4249, or the Hamilton County SWCD (317) 773-2181.
New "EQIP Disaster Relief" recently available !
If you are interested in funding for cover crops on your prevented planting acres the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) may help. Funding has recently became available. Up to $28/acre may qualify! Deadline is August 9! NOTE: You must get enrolled in the program prior to planting the cover crop, and there are some restrictions on the cover crops chosen (i.e. 50% of the seed mix has to be winter hardy).
The phone numbers for local USDA-Farm Service Agencies are, Tipton (765) 675-2316, Boone (765) 482-6355, Madison (765) 644-4249.
Attached to this email are the application forms and information about this program for your reference, please return the CCC-1200 form application pages 1-4, the 1199 direct deposit form and maps of the locations you wish to plant to the NRCS office by August 9th. See attached forms.
The EQIP program has special incentives (special audiences) for military veterans, beginning farmers and agricultural landowners with limited means. To be eligible as a Limited Resource farmer the applicant must have an average household income below the poverty level for that county. If the land is under the control of an entity all members of that entity would have to be meet the criteria of special groups in order for the entity to qualify (i.e. all trust member must be veterans to receive veteran preference), see the application for more information.
2019 Market Facilitation Program Update
USDA recently announced the payment rates and program information for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP), geared toward farmers whose commodities may have been impacted by recent trade disputes. Information about the program is available at link below. In summary, payments will be divided into three tranches, with the first payable in mid-to-late August. For Hamilton County, total payments will amount to $70/acre of eligible 2019 planted crops. Cover crops on prevented planting ground are eligible for a $15/acre payment, but must be planted by August 1, 2019.
FSA emphasized that to be eligible to receive the MFP Payments, a producer must have certified all of their cropland. This means certification of planted acres, as well as certification of acres on which prevented planting claims were filed. The certification deadline has passed (7/22/19). Late certification is possible with payment of a $46 late fee per farm. Planting a cover crop does not affect your eligibility for MFP payment on your regular acres of planted cropland. Failing to certify all of your acreage will impact your eligibility. Cover crops should be certified within 15-days of planting.
Federal Crop Insurance
From a crop-insurance perspective, there is no direct financial incentive to plant cover crops, though there are obvious benefits to soil health and fertility. Your 2019 actual production history (APH yields) will not be impacted for prevented planting acres, regardless of cover-crop status. Your APH may be impacted by poor yields this year. If farmers elected to purchase the “Yield Exclusion” option available with their federally subsidized crop insurance, their APH will be spared if the 2019 county average yield falls at least 50-percent below the county’s average yield for that crop for the past 10 years. (For example, in 2012, Hamilton County received Yield Exclusion for their yellow corn yields, while Madison and Tipton counties did not.). More information on the yield exclusion is available below.