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GIBSON COUNTY

SOIL AND WATER

CONSERVATION DISTRICT 

1252 Manufacturers Row, Trenton, Tennessee 38382
731-855-0023 Ext 3

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Our Rentals

     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

TO RESERVE

CALL 731-855-0023  EXT 3

 

 

    
drill                                                                          Trailer

 

 

 

 

Rental Equipment

The Haybuster Drill

 

The haybuster drill has an 10’ span with 3 different bins for different types of seed.

The drill needs a minimum 70hp tractor w/ hydraulics to operate it properly.

The drill’s primary use is for planting Native Warm Season Grasses, wildlife food plots, small grains, and pasture/hay seedings.

The rental rate is $10/acre or a $100 minimum.

20 ac. X $10.00 = $200.00

5 ac. X $10.00 = $50.00 which means the amount due is $100.

 

 

The Stringer Trailer

The Stringer Trailer is $100 for 2 days.  A late fee of $100.00 per day starting on the 3rd day will be excessed unless the extension is approved by Gibson County SWCD. 

Gibson County USDA Service Center Newsletter

US Department of Agriculture
 
 

From the desks of Shawn Wortman, FSA CED and Ryan Blackwood, NRCS DC


Dates of Importance  

March 6 & 7, Improving Profitability and Resiliency Through Building Soil Health Workshop (FSA Auditorium) preregister with Tyson Grain. 

March 8, Deadline to apply for CSP. (NRCS)

March 15, Deadline to timely enter into ARC/PLC annual crop program. (FSA)

March 29, Deadline to submit an offer for General CRP sign up. (FSA)

To subscribe to text message alerts, text TNGibson to FSANOW (372-669). Standard text messaging rates apply.



BEFORE YOU BREAK OUT NEW GROUND, ENSURE YOUR FARM MEETS CONSERVATION COMPLIANCE

The term “sodbusting” is used to identify the conversion of land from native vegetation to commodity crop production after December 23, 1985.  As part of the conservation provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985, if you’re proposing to produce agricultural commodities (crops that require annual tillage including one pass planting operations and sugar cane) on land that has been determined highly erodible and that has no crop history prior to December 23, 1985, that land must be farmed in accordance with a conservation plan or system that ensures no substantial increase in soil erosion.

Eligibility for many USDA programs requires compliance with a conservation plan or system on highly erodible land (HEL) used for the production of agricultural commodities. This includes Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan, disaster assistance, safety net, price support, and conservation programs; Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs; and Risk Management Agency (RMA) Federal crop insurance.

Before you clear or prepare areas not presently under production for crops that require annual tillage, you are required to file Form AD-1026 “Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification,” with FSA indicating the area to be brought into production. The notification will be referred to NRCS to determine if the field is considered highly erodible land. If the field is considered HEL, you are required to implement a conservation plan or system that limits the erosion to the tolerable soil loss (T) for the predominant HEL soil on those fields.

In addition, prior to removing trees or conducting any other land manipulations that may affect wetlands, remember to update form AD-1026, to ensure you remain in compliance with the wetland conservation provisions.

Prior to purchasing or renting new cropland acres, it is recommended that you check with your local USDA Service Center to ensure your activities will be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions.

For additional information on highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance, contact the Gibson County FSA at 731-855-0023.


USDA ANNOUNCES CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM GENERAL SIGNUP FOR 2024

Sign up for the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) starts March 4 and runs through March 29, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that agricultural producers and private landowners can begin signing up for the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) starting March 4 and running through March 29, 2024.

General CRP

General CRP helps producers and landowners establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Additionally, General CRP includes a Climate-Smart Practice Incentive to help increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by helping producers and landowners establish trees and permanent grasses, enhance wildlife habitat, and restore wetlands.

General CRP is one of several ways agricultural producers and private landowners can participate in the program.

Other CRP Options This past January FSA began accepting applications for the Continuous CRP signup. Under this enrollment, producers and landowners can enroll in CRP throughout the year. Offers are automatically accepted provided the producer and land meet the eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap.

FSA will announce the dates for Grassland CRP signup in the near future.

Producers with expiring CRP acres can use the Transition Incentives Program (TIP), which incentivizes producers who sell or enter a long-term lease with a beginning, veteran, or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher who plans to sustainably farm or ranch the land.

How to Sign Up Landowners and producers interested in CRP should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more or to apply for the program before their deadlines.


USDA Now Accepting Applications for Farm Loans Online

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an online application for Direct Loan customers. More than 26,000 customers who submit a Direct Loan application each year can now use an online, interactive, guided application that is paperless and provides helpful features including an electronic signature option, the ability to attach supporting documents such as tax returns, complete a balance sheet and build a farm operating plan. This tool is part of a broader effort by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to streamline its processes, improve customers service, and expand credit access.

The online farm loan application replicates the support an applicant would receive when completing a loan application in person with an FSA Farm Loan Officer, while continuing to provide customers with one-on-one assistance as needed.  This tool and other process improvements allow farmers and ranchers to submit complete loan applications and reduce the number of incomplete and withdrawn applications.

Through a personalized dashboard, borrowers can track the progress of their loan application. It can be accessed on farmers.gov or by completing FSA’s Loan Assistance Tool at farmers.gov/loan-assistance-tool. To use the online loan application tool, producers must establish a USDA customer account and a USDA Level 2 eAuthentication (“eAuth”) account or a Login.gov account. For the initial stage, the online application tool is only available for producers who will be, or are currently, operating their farm as an individual. FSA is expanding the tools availability to married couples applying jointly and other legal entities in 2024.

Farm Loan Improvement Efforts

FSA has a significant initiative underway to streamline and automate Farm Loan Program customer-facing business processes. For the over 26,000 producers who submit a Direct Loan application to FSA annually, and its 85,000 Direct Loan borrowers, FSA has made improvements this year, including:

More Information

FSA continues to accept and review individual requests for assistance from borrowers who took certain extraordinary measures to avoid delinquency on their direct FSA loans or those who missed a recent installment or are unable to make their next scheduled installment. All requests for assistance must be received by Dec. 31, 2023. For more information, or to submit a request for assistance, producers can contact Landon Hogan at 731-330-3072 or visit farmers.gov/inflation-reduction-investments/assistance

The Inflation Reduction Act, a historic, once-in-a-generation investment and opportunity for agricultural communities, provided $3.1 billion for USDA to provide relief for distressed borrowers with certain FSA direct and guaranteed loans and to expedite assistance for those whose agricultural operations are at financial risk. Since October 2022, USDA has provided approximately $1.6 billion in immediate assistance to more than 27,000 financially distressed direct and guaranteed FSA loan borrowers.


FARMERS HELP AMERICA KEEP SOIL HEALTHY

Our lives are dependent on healthy soil. Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, bountiful crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes. It’s the reason why USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service experts are in your community and across the nation.

Soil is composed of air, water, organic matter and minerals. A community of organisms – functioning as a soil food web – lives all or parts of their lives in soil. More individual organisms are in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth. Increasing soil organic matter typically improves soil health, since organic matter improves several critical functions of soil.

To improve the health of their soil, more and more farmers and ranchers are keeping soil covered, reducing disturbance activities such as tilling, keeping plants growing throughout the year, and diversifying the crops they’re planting in a rotation. Taking these steps allow farmers and ranchers to help reduce erosion while increasing the soil’s ability to provide nutrients and water to the plant at critical times during the growing season. 

When producers focus on improving soil health, they often have larger harvests, lower input costs, optimized nutrient use, and improved crop resilience during drought years like last year. In heavy rainfall years, healthy soil holds more water, reducing runoff that helps avert flooding downstream.

And because healthy soil allows for greater water infiltration and less erosion, nutrients and pesticides stay on the farm where they benefit crops, and are far less likely to be carried off the farm into streams and lakes where they can cause harm.

NRCS helps farmers install conservation practices such as cover crops to maintain and improve soil health – all of which can lead to productive, profitable and sustainable farming and ranching operations for generations to come.

Contact the Gibson County NRCS at 731-855-0023 to find out more.


Deadline for Farmers To Enroll for the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs the 2024 Crop Year

2024 Elections and Enrollment    

Producers can elect coverage and enroll in ARC-County (ARC-CO) or PLC, which provide crop-by-crop protection, or ARC-Individual (ARC-IC), which protects the entire farm. Although election changes for 2024 are optional, producers must enroll through a signed contract each year. Also, if a producer has a multi-year contract on the farm it will continue for 2024 unless an election change is made.     

If producers do not submit their election revision by the March 15, 2024, deadline, their election remains the same as their 2023 election for commodities on the farm. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the cropland.             

Crop Insurance Considerations       

Producers are reminded that ARC and PLC elections and enrollments can impact eligibility for some crop insurance products.    

Producers on farms with a PLC election can purchase Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) through their Approved Insurance Provider; however, producers on farms where ARC is the election are ineligible for SCO on their planted acres for that crop on that farm.    

Unlike SCO, the Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) is unaffected by an ARC election.  Producers may add ECO regardless of the farm program election.   

Upland cotton farmers who choose to enroll seed cotton base acres in ARC or PLC are ineligible for the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) on their planted cotton acres for that farm.     

Web-Based Decision Tools    

Many universities offer web-based decision tools to help producers make informed, educated decisions using crop data specific to their respective farming operations. Producers are encouraged to use the tool of their choice to support their ARC and PLC elections. 

For more information, contact your Gibson County Farm Service Agency at 731-855-0023 or fsa.usda.gov or contact your crop insurance agent.  


 

FARM SERVICE AGENCY

Shawn Wortman, County Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Ryan Blackwood, District Conservationist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Farm Service Agency

Landon Hogan, Loan Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FARM SERVICE AGENCY

Jeffrey McEwen, Farm Loan Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Gibson County USDA Service Center

 

 

 

 

From the desks of Shawn Wortman, FSA CED and Ryan Blackwood, NRCS DC

 

Dates of Importance  

October 1,      New offers for continuous CRP signup may be submitted. 

October 1-7,   Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program applications accepted by Tennessee Department of Agriculture

October 9,      Offices closed in observance of Columbus Day. 

October 21,    Gibson County Bicentennial Celebration

To subscribe to text message alerts, text TNGibson to FSANOW (372-669). Standard text messaging rates apply.



Before You Break Out New Ground, Ensure Your Farm Meets Conservation Compliance

The term “sodbusting” is used to identify the conversion of land from native vegetation to commodity crop production after December 23, 1985.  As part of the conservation

provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985, if you’re proposing to produce agricultural commodities (crops that require annual tillage including one pass planting operations and sugar cane) on land that has been determined highly erodible and that has no crop history prior to December 23, 1985, that land must be farmed in accordance with a conservation plan or system that ensures no substantial increase in soil erosion.

Eligibility for many USDA programs requires compliance with a conservation plan or system on highly erodible land (HEL) used to produce agricultural commodities. This includes Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan, disaster assistance, safety net, price support, and conservation programs; Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs; and Risk Management Agency (RMA) Federal crop insurance.

Before you clear or prepare areas not presently under production for crops that require annual tillage, you are required to file Form AD-1026 “Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification,” with FSA indicating the area to be brought into production. The notification will be referred to NRCS to determine if the field is considered highly erodible land. If the field is considered HEL, you are required to implement a conservation plan or system that limits the erosion to the tolerable soil loss (T) for the predominant HEL soil on those fields.

In addition, prior to removing trees or conducting any other land manipulations that may affect wetlands, remember to update form AD-1026, to ensure you remain in compliance with the wetland conservation provisions.

Prior to purchasing or renting new cropland acres, it is recommended that you check with your local USDA Service Center to ensure your activities will be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions.

For additional information on highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance, contact your local USDA Service Center.


USDA Updates Farm Loan Programs to Increase Equity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating its farm loan programs to better support current borrowers, including historically underserved producers. These improvements are part of USDA’s commitment to increase equity in all programs, including farm loans that provide important access to capital for covering operating expenses and purchasing land and equipment.  

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized FSA to provide equitable relief to certain direct loan borrowers, who are non-compliant with program requirements due to good faith reliance on a material action of, advice of, or non-action from an FSA official. Previously, borrowers may have been required to immediately repay the loan or convert it to a non-program loan with higher interest rates, less favorable terms, and limited loan servicing.  

Now, FSA has additional flexibilities to assist borrowers in such situations. If the agency provided incorrect guidance to an existing direct loan borrower, the agency may provide equitable relief to that borrower. FSA may assist the borrower by allowing the borrower to keep their loans at current rates or other terms received in association with the loan which was determined to be noncompliant or the borrower may receive other equitable relief for the loan as the Agency determines to be appropriate.

USDA encourages producers to reach out to their local loan officials to ensure they fully understand the wide range of loan and servicing options available that can assist them in starting, expanding or maintaining their operation.  

Additional Updates  

Equitable relief is one of several changes authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill that USDA has made to the direct and guaranteed loan programs. Other changes that were previously implemented include:  

  • Modifying the existing three-year farming experience requirement for Direct Farm Ownership loans to include additional items as acceptable experience. 
  • Allowing socially disadvantaged and beginning farmer applicants to receive a guarantee equal to 95%, rather than the otherwise applicable 90% guarantee. 
  • Expanding the definition of and providing additional benefits to veteran farmers. 
  • Allowing borrowers who received restructuring with a write down to maintain eligibility for an Emergency loan. 
  • Expanding the scope of eligible issues and persons covered under the agricultural Certified Mediation Program. 

Additional information on these changes is available in the March 8, 2022 rule on the Federal Register. 

More Background 

FSA has taken other recent steps to increase equity in its programs. Last summer, USDA announced it was providing $67 million in competitive loans through its new Heirs’ Property Relending Program to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues. FSA also invested $4.7 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers, which contributed to a fourfold increase in participation by historically underserved producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), a key pandemic assistance program, since April 2021. 

Additionally, in January 2021, Secretary Vilsack announced a temporary suspension of past-due debt collection and foreclosures for distressed direct loan borrowers due to the economic hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Producers can explore available loan options using the Farm Loan Discovery Tool on farmers.gov (also available in Spanish) or by contacting their local USDA Service Center. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Due to the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Producers can contact their local Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment to discuss loan options.  


Farmers, Homeowners Can Help Pollinators Prosper

Why are pollinators so important? That’s easy - Food. One out of three bites of food can be attributed to these important creatures – such as bees, butterflies, moths, birds, beetles, bats, and a few other small mammals. Pollinators provide crucial assistance to fruit, vegetable and seed crops as well as other plants that produce fiber, medicine and fuel. For many plants, without the help of pollinators, they would be unable to reproduce.

But as you may know, pollinators are in trouble. Many are seeing decreasing populations because of habitat loss, disease, parasites and pesticide use. But there’s good news. There are simple ways you can help. It can be as easy as selecting high-quality pollinator plants for your garden. To find the best plants for your area, visit the websites of NRCS partners at the Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program or Pollinator Partnership.

If you operate a farm or ranch, NRCS can help you create habitat for pollinators. This not only benefits pollinators, but also provides ample perks for the farmers and ranchers, too. More pollinators can increase crop yields. Pollinators can be increased by planting wildflowers in and around fields and choosing the right cover crops. NRCS offers more than three dozen conservation practices that assist in building healthier landscapes for pollinators. NRCS can also help fund the implementation of these practices.

Habitats used by pollinators attract beneficial insects (insects that eat crop pests), and they may provide habitat for other wildlife, reduce soil erosion, and improve water quality. As you can see, pollinators and healthy habitat for pollinators help keep the ecosystem healthy. In fact, if you are putting in conservation practices to prevent soil erosion or protect stream banks, consider including wildflowers, shrubs and trees that support pollinators.

For more information, contact your Gibson County USDA Service Center at 731-855-0023 ext.3 or visit nrcs.usda.gov/pollinators.


Filing CCC-941 Adjusted Gross Income Certifications

If you have experienced delays in receiving Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments, Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs) and Market Gains on Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs), it may be because you have not filed form CCC-941, Adjusted Gross Income Certification.

If you don’t have a valid CCC-941 on file for the applicable crop year you will not receive payments. All farm operator/tenants/owners who have not filed a CCC-941 and have pending payments should IMMEDIATELY file the form with their recording county FSA office. Farm operators and tenants are encouraged to ensure that their landowners have filed the form.

FSA can accept the CCC-941 for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Unlike the past, you must have the CCC-941 certifying your AGI compliance before any payments can be issued.


Obtaining Payments Due to Deceased Producers

In order to claim a Farm Service Agency (FSA) payment on behalf of a deceased producer, all program conditions for the payment must have been met before the applicable producer’s date of death.

If a producer earned a FSA payment prior to his or her death, the following is the order of precedence for the representatives of the producer:

  • administrator or executor of the estate
  • the surviving spouse
  • surviving sons and daughters, including adopted children
  • surviving father and mother
  • surviving brothers and sisters
  • heirs of the deceased person who would be entitled to payment according to the State law

For FSA to release the payment, the legal representative of the deceased producer must file a form FSA-325 to claim the payment for themselves or an estate. The county office will verify that the application, contract, loan agreement, or other similar form requesting payment issuance, was signed by the applicable deadline by the deceased or a person legally authorized to act on their behalf at that time of application.

If the application, contract or loan agreement form was signed by someone other than the deceased participant, FSA will determine whether the person submitting the form has the legal authority to submit the form.

Payments will be issued to the respective representative’s name using the deceased program participant’s tax identification number. Payments made to representatives are subject to offset regulations for debts owed by the deceased.

FSA is not responsible for advising persons in obtaining legal advice on how to obtain program benefits that may be due to a participant who has died, disappeared or who has been declared incompetent.

 

FARM SERVICE AGENCY

Shawn Wortman, County Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Ryan Blackwood, District Conservationist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Farm Service Agency

Landon Hogan, Loan Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FARM SERVICE AGENCY

Jeffrey McEwen, Farm Loan Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

From the desks of Shawn Wortman, FSA CED and Ryan Blackwood, NRCS DC

Dates of Importance

September 5, Offices closed in observance of Labor Day.

To subscribe to text message alerts, text TNGibson to FSANOW (372-669). Standard text messaging rates apply.

Gibson County Fair

August 29- September 3, Fair Week, FSA will maintain a booth in the Durand Lowery Building.

Fair books are available at the Gibson County Ag Extension Service.  Contact Gibson County Extension Service, 731-855-7656 with questions.



Signature Policy

Using the correct signature when doing business with FSA can save time and prevent a delay in program benefits.

The following are FSA signature guidelines: 

  • A married woman must sign her given name: Mrs. Mary Doe, not Mrs. John Doe
  • For a minor, FSA requires the minor's signature and one from the minor’s parent

Note, by signing a document with a minor, the parent is liable for actions of the minor and may be liable for refunds, liquidated damages, etc.

When signing on one’s behalf the signature must agree with the name typed or printed on the form or be a variation that does not cause the name and signature to be in disagreement. Example - John W. Smith is on the form. The signature may be John W. Smith or J.W. Smith or J. Smith. Or Mary J. Smith may be signed as Mrs. Mary Joe Smith, M.J. Smith, Mary Smith, etc. 

FAXED signatures will be accepted for certain forms and other documents provided the acceptable program forms are approved for FAXED signatures. Producers are responsible for the successful transmission and receipt of FAXED information. 

Spouses may sign documents on behalf of each other for FSA and CCC programs in which either has an interest, unless written notification denying a spouse this authority has been provided to the county office. 

Spouses cannot sign on behalf of each other as an authorized signatory for partnerships, joint ventures, corporations or other similar entities.  Likewise, a spouse cannot sign a document on behalf of the other in order to affirm the eligibility of oneself. 

Any member of a general partnership can sign on behalf of the general partnership and bind all members unless the Articles of Partnership are more restrictive. Spouses may sign on behalf of each other’s individual interest in a partnership, unless notification denying a spouse that authority is provided to the county office. Acceptable signatures for general partnerships, joint ventures, corporations, estates, and trusts must consist of an indicator “by” or “for” the individual’s name, individual’s name and capacity, or individual’s name, capacity, and name of entity.

For additional clarification on proper signatures contact your local FSA office.


Filing CCC-941 Adjusted Gross Income Certifications

If you have experienced delays in receiving Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments, Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs) and Market Gains on Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs), it may be because you have not filed form CCC-941, Adjusted Gross Income Certification.

If you don’t have a valid CCC-941 on file for the applicable crop year you will not receive payments. All farm operator/tenants/owners who have not filed a CCC-941 and have pending payments should IMMEDIATELY file the form with their recording county FSA office. Farm operators and tenants are encouraged to ensure that their landowners have filed the form.

FSA can accept the CCC-941 for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Unlike the past, you must have the CCC-941 certifying your AGI compliance before any payments can be issued.


Obtaining Payments Due to Deceased Producers

In order to claim a Farm Service Agency (FSA) payment on behalf of a deceased producer, all program conditions for the payment must have been met before the applicable producer’s date of death.

If a producer earned a FSA payment prior to his or her death, the following is the order of precedence for the representatives of the producer:

  • administrator or executor of the estate
  • the surviving spouse
  • surviving sons and daughters, including adopted children
  • surviving father and mother
  • surviving brothers and sisters
  • heirs of the deceased person who would be entitled to payment according to the State law

For FSA to release the payment, the legal representative of the deceased producer must file a form FSA-325 to claim the payment for themselves or an estate. The county office will verify that the application, contract, loan agreement, or other similar form requesting payment issuance, was signed by the applicable deadline by the deceased or a person legally authorized to act on their behalf at that time of application.

If the application, contract or loan agreement form was signed by someone other than the deceased participant, FSA will determine whether the person submitting the form has the legal authority to submit the form.

Payments will be issued to the respective representative’s name using the deceased program participant’s tax identification number. Payments made to representatives are subject to offset regulations for debts owed by the deceased.

FSA is not responsible for advising persons in obtaining legal advice on how to obtain program benefits that may be due to a participant who has died, disappeared or who has been declared incompetent.


USDA Updates Farm Loan Programs to Increase Equity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating its farm loan programs to better support current borrowers, including historically underserved producers. These improvements are part of USDA’s commitment to increase equity in all programs, including farm loans that provide important access to capital for covering operating expenses and purchasing land and equipment.  

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized FSA to provide equitable relief to certain direct loan borrowers, who are non-compliant with program requirements due to good faith reliance on a material action of, advice of, or non-action from an FSA official. Previously, borrowers may have been required to immediately repay the loan or convert it to a non-program loan with higher interest rates, less favorable terms, and limited loan servicing.  

Now, FSA has additional flexibilities to assist borrowers in such situations. If the agency provided incorrect guidance to an existing direct loan borrower, the agency may provide equitable relief to that borrower. FSA may assist the borrower by allowing the borrower to keep their loans at current rates or other terms received in association with the loan which was determined to be noncompliant or the borrower may receive other equitable relief for the loan as the Agency determines to be appropriate.

USDA encourages producers to reach out to their local loan officials to ensure they fully understand the wide range of loan and servicing options available that can assist them in starting, expanding or maintaining their operation.  

Additional Updates  

Equitable relief is one of several changes authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill that USDA has made to the direct and guaranteed loan programs. Other changes that were previously implemented include:  

  • Modifying the existing three-year farming experience requirement for Direct Farm Ownership loans to include additional items as acceptable experience. 
  • Allowing socially disadvantaged and beginning farmer applicants to receive a guarantee equal to 95%, rather than the otherwise applicable 90% guarantee. 
  • Expanding the definition of and providing additional benefits to veteran farmers. 
  • Allowing borrowers who received restructuring with a write down to maintain eligibility for an Emergency loan. 
  • Expanding the scope of eligible issues and persons covered under the agricultural Certified Mediation Program. 

Additional information on these changes is available in the March 8, 2022 rule on the Federal Register. 

More Background 

FSA has taken other recent steps to increase equity in its programs. Last summer, USDA announced it was providing $67 million in competitive loans through its new Heirs’ Property Relending Program to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues. FSA also invested $4.7 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers, which contributed to a fourfold increase in participation by historically underserved producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), a key pandemic assistance program, since April 2021. 

Additionally, in January 2021, Secretary Vilsack announced a temporary suspension of past-due debt collection and foreclosures for distressed direct loan borrowers due to the economic hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Producers can explore available loan options using the Farm Loan Discover Tool on farmers.gov (also available in Spanish) or by contacting their local USDA Service Center. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Due to the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Producers can contact their local Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment to discuss loan options.  


Buffers Boast Benefits On & Off Farms

The word “buffer” may evoke a safety net, a filter or an area of shrubs and trees. In the landscape context, that’s pretty much what it is. A buffer, when referred to by a conservationist at the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is a small strip of land of trees, shrubs and other plants. This strip provides protection from things like wind or pollutants entering waterways and plays a crucial role as a safety net for the environment.

If properly used, buffers remove more than 50 percent of nutrients and pesticides, 60 percent of some pathogens and 75 percent of sediment. In addition to trapping pollutants, buffers slow water runoff and increase the amount of water that enters the ground, recharging our aquifers and protecting communities downstream from flooding.

During the winter buffers help trap snow and cut down on soil erosion in areas with strong winds. They also can protect livestock and wildlife from harsh weather, shield buildings from wind damage and reduce noise and odor coming from a farm. Buffers also give many benefits for local wildlife. They provide food and shelter for many wildlife species like quail, rabbit and other fun-to-watch species while serving as corridor connectors that enable wildlife to move safely from one habitat area to another.

The NRCS helps private landowners create buffers on their land, along waterways and between fields. If used as part of a comprehensive conservation system, buffers make good use of areas that are not ideal for growing crops or other uses.

For more information, contact the Gibson County NRCS Service Center at 731-855-0023 ext. 3 or visit nrcs.usda.gov.

 

FARM SERVICE AGENCY

Shawn Wortman, County Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Ryan Blackwood, District Conservationist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Farm Service Agency

Landon Hogan, Loan Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FARM SERVICE AGENCY

Anita Mullins, Farm Loan Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Gibson County USDA Service Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee NRCS Announces FY 2021 Application Deadline for Eligible Agricultural Entities and Individual Landowners to Apply for ACEP Deadline to apply is February 8, 2021

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee announced an application deadline for eligible entities to apply for fiscal year 2021 funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The deadline to apply is Monday, February 8, 2021. 
“NRCS may establish additional application cutoff dates based on funding and interest in the ACEP program and, if an additional funding period is approved, a 30-day-minimum application period will be announced,” said Sheldon Hightower, State Conservationist, Tennessee NRCS.  
Applications for the ACEP-Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) will only be accepted from eligible entities, not individual landowners. Eligible entities include State or local units of government, Indian Tribes or nongovernmental organizations, such as a conservancy or a land trust.  ALE is only available as a perpetual easement. 
ACEP's agricultural land easements not only protect the long-term viability of the nation's food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses, they also allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater, and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. 
“Tennessee is committed to preserving working agricultural lands to help protect the long-term viability of farming across the landscape as well as to restoring and protecting vital sensitive wetlands that provide important wildlife habitat and improve water quality,” said Hightower. 
Qualified individual landowners may apply for the ACEP – Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) Program. Only qualified landowners with a complete application package will be considered for land eligibility determination. 
ACEP-WRE can be enrolled as 30-year or perpetual, based on the landowner(s) desired management of the offered property.  30-year easements are valued at 25 percent less than perpetual easements and landowners are responsible for 25 percent of restoration costs whereas perpetual easements are eligible for a 100 percent restoration cost-share.  Alternatively, landowners have the option to offer their property at a reduced purchase and/or restoration cost to improve application ranking. 
If a landowner is applying for ACEP-WRE on multiple parcels of land, any non-contiguous parcels must be submitted as separate applications. Contiguous multiple parcels may be submitted as one application, provided the ownership is identical for each parcel. 
Applications received after the designated cutoff date of Monday, February 8, will be considered in subsequent application periods or in the next program year.  
ACEP was re-authorized under the 2018 Farm Bill and authorizes assistance to qualified partners who pursue ‘buy-protect-sell’ transactions under ACEP-ALE. It also requires a conservation plan for highly erodible land that will be protected by an agricultural land easement and increases flexibility for partners to meet cost-share matching requirements. 
Through ACEP-ALE, NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing agricultural easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible  
land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers keep their land in agriculture. 
ACEP-WRE allows landowners to successfully restore, enhance, and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater, and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.  
Entities and landowners interested in applying for ACEP-ALE or WRE funding should visit with their local NRCS Service Center. 
For more information about the ACEP program, contact Dustin Graham, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (731) 855-0023 ext 3 or visit the Tennessee NRCS website. 
 
 
 
 
 

MRBI Funding

Watershed

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS} is excited to announce an opportunity for funding and
customer assistance to install practices addressing soil erosion and degraded water quality caused by
gullies and movement of soil. We have several hundred thousand dollars to aid in this critical
conservation effort!
The Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI} is a targeted approach to improve the health of the
Mississippi River Basin. Nutrient contributions, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus, have an impact on
the Mississippi River, local drinking water and have caused hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. NRCS and its
partners has selected small watersheds in the North Fork Forked Deer (6 no.) drainage area in the
Mississippi River Basin to support volunteer installation of conservation practices that avoid, control, and
trap nutrient runoff; improve wildlife habitat; and maintain agricultural productivity.
To provide additional information and Q&A, we will host a public call on November 10th at 1 pm CST.
"Call-in Coordinates" - Teleconference Number: 888-844-9904 then Pass Code: 3908145#
Please contact your local service center to apply by November 20, 2020
 

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