In July, farm landowners received a base acre and yield commodity crop history summary letter from their Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The summary letter lists the landowner's FSA farm planted acres for 2008 through 2012. Landowners have 60 days from the time they received the summary letter to contact the FSA office if there are any discrepancies in the data listed. This information is essential to being able to sign up for the new 2014 Farm Bill programs.

There have been instances in which the summary lists no data or the data is incorrect. If the data is missing or the data listed in the summary letter is incorrect, the landowner should contact the FSA office in the county where the land is located. If the landowner rents the land to a tenant, the tenant can contact the FSA office on the landowner's behalf. Once contacted, the FSA office staff can research and correct the base acre information for the specific FSA farm.

The 60-day deadline is required only if there are errors in the base acres listed in the summary letter. If the data listed is correct, the landowner does not have to do anything. The deadline has nothing to do with the Farm Bill provision for reallocation of base acres and updating FSA yields. Those decision deadlines have not yet been announced.

"Producers and landowners will need to make a series of decisions related to Farm Bill enrollment over the next few months. This is a first step," said Gary Hachfeld, regional Extension educator. 

If landowners have questions about the base acre summary letter they received, they should contact the FSA office in the county where land is located. Staff will answer questions and assist with correcting any discrepancies that may exist in the base acre data. For additional information on the 2014 Farm Bill and other farm management topics go to www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/business.


Source: Gary A. Hachfeld, Extension educator in Agricultural Business Management, U of M Extension Regional Center, Mankato, 507-389-6722, hachf002@umn.edu.