USDA Implements 2014 Farm Bill Provision to Limit Payments to Non-Farmers
On March 24, 2015, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a proposed rule to limit farm payments to non-farmers, consistent with requirements Congress mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill. The proposed rule limits farm payments to individuals who may be designated as farm managers but are not actively engaged in farm management. In the Farm Bill, Congress gave USDA the authority to address this loophole for joint ventures and general partnerships, while exempting family farm operations from being impacted by the new rule USDA ultimately implements.
The proposed rule seeks to close this loophole to the extent possible within the guidelines required by the 2014 Farm Bill. Under the proposed rule, non-family joint ventures and general partnerships must document that their managers are making significant contributions to the farming operation, defined as 500 hours of substantial management work per year, or 25 percent of the critical management time necessary for the success of the farming operation. Many operations will be limited to only one manager who can receive a safety-net payment. Operators that can demonstrate they are large and complex could be allowed payments for up to three managers only if they can show all three are actively and substantially engaged in farm operations. The changes specified in the rule would apply to payment eligibility for 2016 and subsequent crop years for Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs, loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains realized via the Marketing Assistance Loan program.
Stakeholders interested in commenting on the proposed definition and changes are encouraged to provide written comments at www.regulations.gov
by May 26, 2015.
The proposed rule is available at http://go.usa.gov/3C6Kk
A news release announcing USDA's proposed rule change is available by clicking the Newsroom tab above or the State News Release link to the left.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
If you produce a specialty crop that is ineligible for crop insurance, we’ve got an improved program that can help protect against losses from weather and natural disasters.
The Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance program, or NAP, is now available, offering much more than in the past. Previously you were covered at 55 percent of the market price for losses exceeding 50 percent, but now you can cover 65 percent of your crop at 100 percent of the price.
For new, low-income or previously underserved farmers, there is free basic coverage, and higher coverage at discounted premiums.
2014 Farm Bill
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Act), also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, was signed by President Obama on Feb. 7, 2014. The Act repeals certain programs, continues some programs with modifications, and authorizes several new programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Most of these programs are authorized and funded through 2018.
For the latest on 2014 Farm Bill programs administered by FSA, please visit our Farm Bill website at www.fsa.usda.gov/farmbill
and for an FSA program overview please read, download and/or print our recently posted FSA Farm Bill Fact Sheet titled, What’s in the 2014 Farm Bill for Farm Service Agency Customers?
2014 Farm Bill Disaster Assistance Programs Signup Begins
Signup began on April 15, 2014 for Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)
, Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
, Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)
. Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program
(LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program
(LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014.
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program
(ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires. The Tree Assistance Program
(TAP) provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
Eligible counties for LFP include Baker (2013), Curry (2013), Grant (2013), Harney (2012 and 2013), Jackson (2013), Klamath (2012 and 2013), Lake (2012 and 2013) and Malheur (2012 and 2013).
Producers signing up for these programs are encouraged to contact their local FSA office
for information on the types of records needed and to schedule an appointment. Taking these steps in advance will help producers ensure their application moves through the process as quickly as possible.
IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES
09/29/14 to 03/31/15 – Base acre reallocation and yield updates Extended to 4/7/15.
11/17/14 to 03/31/15 – ARC/PLC program selection Extended to 4/7/15.
Mid-April 2015 to Summer 2015 – ARC/PLC enrollment (for 2014/2015)
Resources for Small and Mid-Sized Farmers
Small and midsize producers provide new opportunities for American agriculture across the country. USDA has created a website to provide small and midsize producers valuable resources and program information about access to capital, land management and conservation practices, managing risk, finding local markets, and other educational resources.
The website is:
Like all websites, the FSA site is accessible through any device that connects to the Internet. The Mobile site organizes the information on the website in a way that makes for easy reading on a small, hand-held screen. Read more
Program Fact Sheet
County members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Click here for further Information on County Elections.
The Farm Service Agency Provides Assistance for Natural Disaster Losses, Resulting from Drought, Flood, Fire, Freeze, Tornadoes, Pest Infestation, and Other Calamities - Click Here for Further Information
Who we are:
The Farm Service Agency
is a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
. Located in all 50 states, our mission is to help American farmers provide reasonably priced food and fiber to the nation and the world.
In Oregon, the State Office is located in Tualatin, Oregon, just south of Portland. County Service Centers are located in 22 Oregon towns. For County Office phone numbers and addresses: County Information
The Farm Service Agency State Committee in Oregon oversees the activities of the agency. The members are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture each year. They hear appeals from local farmers and guide the direction of agency policy.
The Oregon Farm Service Agency State Committee members are:
Sam Asai – Chair
Phil Ward Appointed Oregon’s FSA Executive Director
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently appointed Phil Ward as the new state executive director (SED) for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Oregon. Phil Ward is a fifth generation Oregonian whose ancestors traveled the Oregon Trail in the late 1840s. Phil Ward assumed his post as FSA SED on June 23, 2014.
Phil Ward is no stranger to Oregon Agriculture. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Agricultural Education from Oregon State University and began his professional career as a high school agriculture teacher and was named Oregon’s Outstanding Young Agricultural Teacher in 1983. Although Phil Ward left teaching, he continued his service to the agriculture industry when he joined the Oregon Department of Agriculture, in 1984, as a Special Assistant to the Director and was eventually promoted to Assistant Director of the Department. In that role, he supervised the Natural Resource Policy Area of the agency and served as liaison to the Oregon Legislature.
In 1997, Phil Ward left government service to become Executive Vice President of the Oregon Farm Bureau. In 1999, at the request of then Governor John Kitzhaber he returned to the Oregon Department of Agriculture as its Director. During his tenure, he led the implementation of Oregon’s groundbreaking Agricultural Water Quality Act and worked to increase markets for Oregon agricultural products in the Pacific Rim. In June 2004, he was appointed to serve as Director of the Oregon Water Resources Department by Governor Theodore Kulongoski. Governor Kitzhaber reaffirmed the appointment upon his return to office in 2011. In that role, he administered over 80,000 agricultural, industrial and municipal water rights.
As the now, officially appointed, state executive director for Oregon FSA, Phil Ward oversees all aspects of federal farm program implementation as delivered by Oregon FSA’s more than 189 employees and producer-elected county committee members. FSA’s programs include those outlined in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 7, 2014. In fiscal year 2013, Oregon FSA issued more than $34 million in federal farm program and farm loan program assistance and benefits to the state’s farmers and livestock producers.
As SED, Phil Ward will rely on his agricultural education and professional experiences to efficiently, effectively and fairly implement FSA programs that protect and conserve agricultural practices and resources and that ensure a safe, affordable, abundant and nutritious food supply for consumers.
Phil Ward and his wife Pam have three grown children. They currently live with two chocolate labs named Huck and Finn on a piece of the home farm near the Willamette River, south of the town of Independence.
Call or write to us at:
United States Department of Agriculture
Farm Service Agency
7620 SW Mohawk
Tualatin, Oregon 97062-8121
(503) 692-6830 Voice
(855) 824-6185 FAX