Back in March, Congress passed legislation to provide funding through the remainder of the fiscal year. This legislation included a new reduction of approximately 2.5 percent for a number of items within USDA’s budget, including FSA salaries and expenses appropriation. It also maintained the across-the-board budget reductions under sequestration, which took effect on March 1, 2013. FSA is committed to carrying out sequester actions and reductions in a manner that is equitable and provides the least disruption to our customers.
USDA notified Congress of its intention to capture the required sequester savings by reducing 2013 Direct payments by up to 8.5 percent. There is a 30-day Congressional notification period that must pass before we can move forward.
Therefore, payments in the following programs have been stopped: 2011 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE), Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for 2012 crop losses, and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC). After the notification period expires, FSA intends to resume making these program payments in full.
CRP GENERAL SIGNUP BEGINS MAY 20
A four-week general signup period for Conservation Reserve program (CRP) begins May 20 and ends on June 14. Producers that are accepted in the signup can receive cost share assistance to plant long term, resource-conserving covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract (10–15 years). Offers under the general signup provisions are ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index.
Nationwide, contracts on 3.3 million acres of CRP are set to expire on September 30, 2013. Producers with expiring contracts or producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.
Mary Johnson, CED