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Crop reports due soon in Maryland

July 03, 2007

The executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County is reminding producers they have until July 16 to tell FSA what they've planted.

Annual crop reporting is also referred to as acreage reporting or crop certification.

"Filing accurate and timely reports for crops and land uses, including failed and prevented planted acreages can prevent loss of benefits for many FSA programs," said Colleen Cashell. "All cropland included in your farming operation must be reported to receive benefits from a variety of USDA farm programs."

Cashell said some of the programs that require the crop reporting information include Direct and Counter-cyclical Program, Marketing Assistance Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments. Conservation Reserve Program acreage must be reported to receive annual rental payments. Crop acreage for NAP must also be reported.

Crop reporting is used by FSA to determine eligibility for commodity loans and Loan Deficiency Payments, disaster programs and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and to verify compliance with highly erodible land and wetland provisions, Cashell said.

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Crop reporting is used in determining compliance with farm programs and in making various current and future program decisions, such as crop base history.

Crop reports must account for all cropland on a farm, even if left idle, Cashell said.

She said the reporting deadline can vary by state, so farmers outside Maryland should check with the FSA office in their area.

If natural disaster conditions prevented a farmer from planting a crop during the normal planting period, the prevented planted acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date for the crop, Cashell said. "If your crop failed due to disaster-related conditions, the failed acreage must be reported before disposition of the crop," she said.

"If you are unsure of accurate acreages, you may want to consider measurement service prior to reporting your crops," she said.

"FSA will measure acreage to determine the exact area designated for specific crop land or land use. Check with your local office for measurement service rates.

For more information on crop reporting or any FSA programs, contact the office at 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 107, Hagerstown. Or, you can telephone it at 301-797-0500, ext. 2; or visit its Website at www.fsa.usda.gov

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