USDA is extending the deadline to report acres for agricultural producers in states impacted by flooding and heavy moisture.

This new July 22 deadline applies to producers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin for reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices and crop insurance agents.

Filing a timely crop acreage report is important to maintaining eligibility for USDA conservation, disaster assistance, safety net, crop insurance and farm loan programs. A crop acreage report documents all crops and their intended uses and is an important part of record-keeping for your farm or ranch.

Producers filing reports with FSA county offices are encouraged to set up an appointment before visiting the office. Producers who set up appointments before the July 22 deadline are considered timely filed, even if the appointment occurs after the deadline.

Producers not in these select states must file spring-seeded crops by the original July 15 deadline.

Other USDA Efforts to Help Producers

USDA has taken additional steps to help impacted producers, including:

• Updating the haying and grazing date for producers who have planted cover crops on prevented plant acres.

• Offering special sign-ups through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program for assistance to plant cover crops;.

• Extending the deadline to report prevented plant acres in certain places.

For more information, visit our Prevented or Delayed Planting webpage.

USDA Offers Producers Options to Re-enroll or Extend Expiring CRP Contracts

Farmers and ranchers with expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts may now re-enroll in certain CRP continuous signup practices or, if eligible, select a one-year contract extension. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) is also accepting offers from landowners who want to enroll for the first time in one of the country's largest conservation programs. FSA's 52nd signup for CRP runs from June 3 to Aug. 23.

This year's CRP continuous signup includes practices such as grass waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. View a full list of practices approved for this signup. Continuous signup contracts last for 10 to 15 years. Soil rental rates are set at 90% of 2018 rates. Incentive payments are not offered for these practices.

Producers interested in applying for CRP continuous practices, including those under existing CREP agreements, or who want to extend their contract, should contact the FSA office by Aug. 23.

Higher Limits Now Available on USDA Farm Loans

Higher limits are now available for borrowers interested in USDA's farm loans, which help agricultural producers purchase farms or cover operating expenses. The 2018 Farm Bill increased the amount that producers can borrow through direct and guaranteed loans available through USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) and made changes to other loans, such as microloans and emergency loans.

Key changes include:

• The Direct Operating Loan limit increased from $300,000 to $400,000, and the Guaranteed Operating Loan limit increased from $ 1.429 million to $1.75 million. Operating loans help producers pay for normal operating expenses, including machinery and equipment, seed, livestock feed and more.

• The Direct Farm Ownership Loan limit increased from $300,000 to $600,000, and the Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loan limit increased from $1.429 million to $1.75 million. Farm ownership loans help producers become owner-operators of family farms as well as improve and expand current operations.

• Producers can now receive both a $50,000 Farm Ownership Microloan and a $50,000 Operating Microloan. Previously, microloans were limited to a combined $50,000. Microloans provide flexible access to credit for small, beginning, niche, and non-traditional farm operations.

• Producers who previously received debt forgiveness as part of an approved FSA restructuring plan are now eligible to apply for emergency loans. Previously, these producers were ineligible.

• Beginning and socially disadvantaged producers can now receive up to a 95% guarantee against the loss of principal and interest on a loan, up from 90%.

Direct farm loans, which include microloans and emergency loans, are financed and serviced by FSA, while guaranteed farm loans are financed and serviced by commercial lenders. For guaranteed loans, FSA provides a guarantee against possible financial loss of principal and interest.

For more information on FSA farm loans, visit www.fsa.usda.gov or contact the Daviess County Farm Service Agency at 270-684-9286 ext. 113.

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