USDA continues to move forward with activities to implement The Agricultural Act of 2014 as the Farm Service Agency issued a number of notices related to the new law’s implementation.
The Agriculture Secretary announced the start of sign-up for the renewed livestock disaster assistance program. The FSA issued notices to its state and county offices about the 2012 SURE Program sign-up and payment eligibility and payment limitation provisions. USDA also released the schedule of cotton loan premium and discounts for the ’14 crop (see next story). The base loan was announced on Feb. 18.
Notice SURE-37 advised offices to prepare for sign-up beginning in May and confirmed that the qualifying loss for SURE, based on the ’08 farm law, requires a loss of at least 10% on one crop of economic significance on a farm that is either: 1) located in a disaster county; or 2) if not located in a disaster county or contiguous county, has a loss greater than or equal to 50% of normal production on the farm (expected revenue for all crops on the farm) due to disaster conditions.
Notice PL-260 provides instructions to offices regarding implementation of the new payment limitation and adjusted gross income test provisions of the ’14 farm bill. The notice confirms that actively engaged in farming determination requirements are not changed for ’14 crops. The date for determination of ownership interest is June 1 and will be used for direct attribution for the entire program year. Substantive change must be bona fide and substantive, and an increase in base acres in the farming operation of 20% from the previous year will qualify for an addition of one person or legal entity unless the state office determines the change qualifies for more than one addition. The transfer of land or equipment also can meet the requirement if certain conditions are met.
The notice specifies that all farm operating plans currently on file are continuous and remain effective for ’14 unless revised. The notice provides instructions for applying the revised three-year average adjusted gross income test of $900,000 and provides a table of payment limitations for ’14-18. The limitation per legal entity for the ARC, PLC, LDP and MLG programs is $125,000 and there is a separate limitation for peanuts. The new cotton transition payment is subject to a separate $40,000 limitation. There is a new form (CCC-941) that is required for certification of adjusted gross income and consent to disclose tax information.