WASHINGTON, May 27, 2015 – The June 1 deadline for producers to certify compliance with conservation rules (form AD-1026) is “hard and fast” and will not be extended, says USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden.
“We need the month of June to reconcile all of the data prior to the July 1 start of the reinsurance year,” she adds. So it behooves everyone impacted to visit their local Farm Service Agency office yet this week - if they haven’t already filed the paperwork.
Harden says the agency has been hosting numerous meetings and working with thousands of stakeholders to get the word out and alert producers – especially those in specialty crop areas who may never have had to previously file the form.
For example, USDA sent approximately 150,000 total letters and/or postcards to individual producers reminding them of the upcoming deadline. In California and Texas, USDA used the Texas A&M call center to individually call producers and answer questions. For new and beginning farmers, the agency plans to take the list of 10,640 producers taking advantage of the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (exemption on CAT administrative fees and additional 10 percent premium assistance on buy up coverage) and match it against the list of AD-1026 forms on file.
The 2014 farm bill requires producers to have the form on file in order to remain eligible, or to become eligible for crop insurance premium support, which averages over 60 percent of the premium cost.
“This is not a ‘gotcha’ request. We want to work with producers and are willing to give them every benefit of the doubt,” Harden told Agri-Pulse.
Earlier this month, specialty crop growers expressed concerns that county offices were sitting on a large backlog of requests that were not yet entered into USDA’s system for verifying compliance. But Harden says that, if there is a backlog, producers will still get credit for starting the process and filling out the form.
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