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USDA reminds farmers of conservation compliance changes in 2014 Farm Bill

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminded producers that changes mandated through the 2014 Farm Bill require them to have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026) on file.

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The Farm Bill relinked highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance with eligibility for premium support paid under the federal crop insurance program.

Since many Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs require completed and signed AD-1026 forms, most producers should already have the AD-1026 on file. If producers have not filed, they must do so by June 1, 2015.

When a farmer completes the AD-1026, FSA and NRCS staff will outline any additional actions that may be required for compliance with the provisions.

The Risk Management Agency, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), manages the federal crop insurance program.

Since enactment of the 1985 Farm Bill, eligibility for most commodity, disaster, and conservation programs has been linked to compliance with the highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation provisions.

The 2014 Farm Bill continues the requirement that producers adhere to conservation compliance guidelines to be eligible for most programs administered by FSA and NRCS.

This includes the new price and revenue protection programs, the Conservation Reserve Program, the Livestock Disaster Assistance programs, Marketing Assistance Loans implemented by FSA, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program, and other conservation programs.

FSA recently released a revised form AD-1026, which is available at USDA Service Centers and online at www.fsa.usda.gov.

USDA will publish a rule later this year that will provide details outlining the connection of conservation compliance with crop insurance premium support. Producers can also contact their local USDA Service Center for information.

A listing of service center locations is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/contact/local/.

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