USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard by voting in the upcoming Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee elections. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini announced that beginning Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, USDA will mail ballots for the 2014 elections to eligible producers across the country. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by the Dec. 1, 2014, deadline to ensure that their vote is counted.

More information on county committees, such as the new 2014 fact sheet and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. You may also contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA office. Visit http://go.usa.gov/pYV3 to find an FSA office near you.

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GPC, Washington DC Office

Lucas Applauds USDA for Moving Forward with Implementing Critical Drought Assistance for Farmers

WASHINGTON, October 21, 2014– – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas issued the following statement welcoming the news that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will move forward with implementing the Actual Production History (APH) adjustment for 2015 spring-planted crops. This crop insurance provision in the Agricultural Act of 2014 allows yield adjustments when losses are widespread and beyond the control of producers.

“I commend Secretary Vilsack and his team on their efforts to implement this critical provision in the farm bill. The APH adjustment means everything to farmers all across the country who have suffered through year after year of devastating drought conditions. It is the difference between having viable crop insurance for the coming year or not. It is for these reasons that I worked to include the APH adjustment in the farm bill and why I am pleased the Secretary redoubled his efforts to get it done this year. I remain hopeful that USDA will also work to make the same relief available to winter wheat producers.”

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GPC, Washington, DC Office

USDA FSA Announces Key Dates for New 2014 Farm Bill Safety Net Programs

Washington DC, Oct. 2, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing key dates for farm owners and producers to keep in mind regarding the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.

Sept. 29, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2015 Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015 Mid-April through Summer 2015 October 2015
Land owners make base reallocation/yield updates Producers make election between ARC/PLC Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years Payments for 2014 crop year, if needed

For More information, please click here.

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GPC, Washington DC Office

New Farm Bill Provision for Peanut Producers

September 29, 2014 – Washington, D.C. – Last week The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a press release announcing a new peanut revenue policy.  This policy was first introduced at the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation meeting September 17-18, 2014.  The Georgia Peanut Commission was represented at this meeting by Andy Bell of Climax, Georgia, and Dr. Stanley Fletcher from the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness.

View USDA’s Press Release Here.

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GPC, Washington, DC Office

USDA Announces New Risk Management Programs

September 25, 2014 – Washington, D.C.- House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other farm leaders at an event to unveil the new Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, new risk management tools authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Peterson made the following statement:

“The 2014 Farm Bill made important reforms to farm programs and provides farmers with a choice of a price or revenue-based safety net that will only provide assistance if there is a price or crop loss. Beginning Monday, farmers will be able to visit their local FSA offices to learn more about these important risk management tools and make the best decision for their individual operation. I have been closely following USDA’s efforts to implement the 2014 Farm Bill and am pleased to see implementation of ARC and PLC move ahead.”

Farmers can access these tools at USDA’s website – www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc

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GPC, Washington DC Office

U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 5078

September 10, 2014- Washington, DC — The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, by a vote of 262-152. This legislation prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing and enforcing a proposed rule that would redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, or using the rule as a basis for future administrative actions. It is the authority of Congress, not the administration, to change the scope of the Clean Water Act.

 

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GPC, Washington, DC Office

National Center for Peanut Competitiveness releases “Preliminary Base Acreage and Payment Yields Decision Calculator”

At the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City, Florida, the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness (NCPC) officially launched the “Preliminary Base Acreage and Payment Yields Decision Calculator.” The annual conference brings growers from across the Southeast for three days of educational sessions focusing on production, research, marketing, industry issues and legislative issues. The calculator was developed by the NCPC after reviewing the text of the 2014 Farm Bill and discussions with Congressional staff involved in the drafting of the bill, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA) personnel. When the USDA-FSA issues the final rules and regulations on base reallocation and yield updating, as well as temporary generic base allocation for a crop year sometime late summer/fall 2014, the spreadsheet will be modified to reflect these changes.

“It is imperative producers begin the process of collecting the necessary data now rather than later. With local office closings and staff cuts in USDA- FSA, local offices will be challenged in providing data on demand and working with the producers at the same level as was seen in the previous two farm bills,” says Dr. Stanley Fletcher, NCPC director. “Documents needed by the producer for this process will include the FSA-156EZ, FSA-578 from 2008-2013 and a document showing proven yields for all of the producer’s 2014 Farm Serial Numbers.”

The NCPC developed the calculator to assist producers in developing farm strategies and decisions based on their individual needs. Grower checkoff funds helped with the development of the decision calculator. For additional questions, contact Stanley Fletcher, NCPC director, at 404-277-2319 or email at smf@uga.edu.

Download Calculator Instructions
Download Preliminary Base Acreage and Payment Yields Decision Calculator

House Agriculture Committee Schedule

July 17, 2014 – Washington, D.C.- Today, the House Agriculture Committee released the date for an upcoming Public Hearing.

Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014 – 2:30 p.m.

 1300 Longworth House Office Building  Washington, D.C.  Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition, Public Hearing

RE: To examine the role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in relation to other Federal assistance programs

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GPC, Washington DC Office

Ag Panel Examines USDA’s Efforts Implementing Reforms in the Farm Bill

Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, held a hearing to examine the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as it implements the new commodity and crop insurance titles of the Agricultural Act of 2014, otherwise known as the farm bill.

Congressman David Scott is the Ranking Member on this committee.

To view more information regarding this hearing including written statements, please click here.

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GPC, Washington DC Office

USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2014-Crop Peanuts

The 2014 Farm Bill established the national loan rate for peanuts at $355 per ton, which is unchanged from the previous farm bill. CCC calculated the price support levels for each peanut type using the same method as last year. CCC uses the national loan rate and five-year average quality factors, along with a three-year simple average weighted production. The rates take effect Aug. 1, 2014, the beginning of the peanut crop year. For an average grade ton of 2014-crop peanuts, loan levels by type are:

Runner-type peanuts $354.86 per ton
Spanish-type peanuts $333.91 per ton
Valencia-type peanuts $357.79 per ton
Virginia-type peanuts $357.79 per ton

CCC applies premiums and discounts for quality factors to compute the loan value for an individual ton of peanuts. The actual loan level depends on the percent of various sizes of kernels in each ton. CCC uses the percentage of sound mature kernels (SMK) and sound splits (SS) to compute the basic loan value of the load. Discounts for other kernels (OK), damaged kernels (DK), foreign materials (FM) and loose shell kernels (LSK) may apply.

For each percent of SMK in a ton of peanuts, plus each percent of SS, the loan levels are:

Runner-type peanuts $4.819 per percent
Spanish-type peanuts $4.795 per percent
Valencia-type peanuts $5.346 per percent
Virginia-type peanuts $4.915 per percent

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GPC, Washington DC Office