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Spring brings excitement, optimism

The sights and smells of spring combined with longer days brings excitement and optimism for me as I prepare for my own spring planting.

In my younger years, I would never have thought that the smell of fresh-cut hay, newly-tilled earth or even a cleaned-out cattle yard would be welcomed and make me feel like I am home. I hope you all can also appreciate the simple things like this that make you feel like you are where you want to be with your life.

We invite producers to call the office at 320-763-3191 and schedule an appointment for the 2018 ARC/PLC insurance program enrollment if they have not already done so.

If you have purchased any land or are renting new land, please provide documentation to our office so we can update our records. This takes some time and doing so now will save you time later when you are wanting to be in the field.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) needs you to bring a copy of your recorded deed for ownership changes, as the office does not receive those from the courthouse.

When you have finished planting, schedule an appointment with the agency office to certify your crops.

If you are thinking about the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, please stop in the office and discuss your intentions with our Pheasants Forever biologist Josh Meissner. He can assist you in reviewing the eligibility of the land if CRP becomes an option.

Here are a few other important deadlines for some of the programs offered by FSA:

May 31 — Final date to apply for 2017 commodity loans on corn, soybeans and sunflowers.

May 31 — 2018 nursery crop certification deadline

July 16 — 2018 annual crop certification and CRP certification deadline

Aug. 1 — 2018 ARC/PLC enrollment deadline

As stormy seasons approach, there is potential for crop damage and livestock death. If you experience any of these concerns, please notify the office. Assistance programs such as NAP, LIP, LFP or ELAP require timely notification with a notice of loss. Please contact the office with questions or concerns.

Whenever there is difficulty, there is also opportunity and the Farm Service Agency is here to help assist with your operation. If you are experiencing stress or having trouble, please reach out for help. The Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline is free and available 24/7 at 1-833-600-2670.

You are all a valuable part of the strong agricultural presence here in Douglas County. Take some breaks this spring and be safe. You are part of a noble industry and have a lot to be proud of.

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