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Farmer noticing effects of cold with little snow

March weather has certainly decided to come into Minnesota like a lion. Let's hope it exits like a lamb.

Producers who come into the office are reporting deep frost and concerns about forage crops as well as fall seeded crops like rye or winter wheat. This is a result of exposure from little snowfall combined with extreme cold. As spring unfolds, we will be able to identify any additional concerns.

Many producers are calling the office to inquire about potential changes to the current Margin Protection Program also known as "MPP" for the 2018 year. While the local Farm Service Agency staff hears about the same information, we have not been provided any program specific information that we can pass along for our dairy producers at this time. Upon notification, FSA will contact all prior contract participants with options. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Farm Service Agency staff is currently reviewing 2017 imagery. This is a required process. Any changes that FSA finds through this review that need attention must first be handled by notifying the affected producers and landowners. If you receive a letter, please contact the office with any questions. Please respond within 30 days of the receipt. We want our maps to be as accurate as possible and best represent the scope of your operation.

Producers are reminded to report farm record changes before enrolling in the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage program, or ARC/PLC. This includes ownership changes, new or terminated rental arrangements, farm reorganization, and/or transfer of interests within an existing entity. Notify our office of such changes as soon as the legal documents are finalized. Producers looking to operate new ground are reminded that FSA cannot provide farm or tract information without the written approval of the owner. The 2018 ARC/PLC sign-up has started. Give our office a call and we can have the contracts and associated paperwork ready when you arrive! Provide leases and cash rent statements if your contract has changed.

As temperatures start to warm and the days get longer, grain producers are reminded to check their bins. Reports suggest we are already seeing issues especially along the south face of the bins. Producers with grain under loan are reminded that the quality of loaned grain continues to be the responsibility of the producer. In addition, please remember that loan collateral cannot be removed without prior repayment or authorization to haul. Just a quick phone call to the office before moving the grain can prevent costly penalties. 2017 Commodity Loans are still available at the county office.

If you have contracts in the Conservation Reserve Program, also known as CRP, that expire in fall 2018, please contact the office to identify your intention for this land. Identifying eligibility now will assist the staff with enrollment options when and if they become available.

Producers and landowners are reminded that FSA loan programs may provide financing options for those who are denied commercial credit options from conventional lenders. Positive cash flow and balance sheets are still required and must be less than 90 days old.

If you are eligible, submitting your application as soon as possible is highly encouraged. FSA has seen an increase in loan requests with the present ag economy.

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