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Farm Storage Facility Loan program expands

One of the things I admire most about farmers is their resilience to anything Mother Nature can throw at them. Farmers generally are the eternal optimists. Times are tight for many aspects of agriculture, yet most producers that come through our office are positive about the future.

Mild midwinter temperatures have created some concern with producers about pooling water and the effects on existing alfalfa stands and other perennial forage crops.

The Douglas County FSA Office wishes to congratulate Eric Thesing on his recent election to the Douglas County Committee. Eric will represent the townships of Leaf Valley, Ida, Miltona, Carlos, Spruce Hill and Belle River. Bert Pexsa will act as the alternate for this position.

A big thank you goes out to Gerald Hoppe and Pamela Pommerenke for their years of service to the committee and the producers in Douglas County.

The Farm Storage Facility Loan program has been expanded to include many new opportunities for both new and used equipment. Many questions have been asked about these new applications. To answer producer questions, the Douglas County FSA office is conducting an informational meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m. in the conference room at the USDA Service Center, 900 Robert St. NE, Alexandria.

The 2017 ARC/PLC enrollment is well under way. Producers are asked to call and schedule an appointment with the office at (320) 763-3191. Completing this now will keep you in the tractor later in the spring.

Producers and landowners with changes for 2017 are asked to provide the office with a copy of new cash leases or recorded deeds for new ownerships.

FSA wishes to remind producers and landowners as they negotiate their land rental contracts for 2017 that the office is not able to provide information about their farms to anyone other than the owner or operator without written permission from all owners on the farm.

Producers in Douglas County now can receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone. Producers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates. Producers can text MNDouglas to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Douglas County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

Some of the important deadline dates approaching include:

March 15 — NAP Insurance deadline for spring seeded crops.

March 31 — Final date to apply for 2016 MAL small grain loans.

Take some time this winter to recharge and prepare for the upcoming year. Winter is a great time to stop in the office to get your questions answered for the upcoming year.