Georgia

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Hurricane Michael: FSA Disaster Assistance

Locate your local USDA Service Center


NEW! Secretary Perdue Announces New Dairy Margin Coverage Signup: Read More
Emergency Farm Loans

FSA provides emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine.

Emergency loan funds may be used to:

  • Restore or replace essential property
  • Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year
  • Pay essential family living expenses
  • Reorganize the farming operation
  • Refinance certain debts

Find and download an Emergency Loan package

We also encourage you to contact your local office or USDA Service Center to learn more about our programs and the information you will need for a complete application.


USDA Extends Deadline to May 17 for Producers to Certify 2018 Crop Production for Market Facilitation Program Payments 

USDA extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for agricultural producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) extended the deadline because heavy rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in many parts of the country, preventing producers from certifying acres.

Payments will be issued only if eligible producers certify before the updated May 17 deadline.

The MFP provides payments to producers of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, dairy, hogs, fresh sweet cherries and shelled almonds. FSA will issue payments based on the producer’s certified total production of the MFP commodity multiplied by the MFP rate for that specific commodity.

Producers can certify production by contacting their local FSA office or through farmers.gov.

About MFP:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue launched the trade mitigation program to assist farmers suffering from damage because of unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. FSA implemented MFP in September 2018 as a relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets to help American farmers compete globally. To date, more than $8.3 billion has been paid to nearly 600,000 applicants.

The MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act and is administered by FSA.

More Information: For more information, contact your local FSA office or visit www.farmers.gov/MFP.


USDA Announces Buy-Up Coverage Availability and New Service Fees for Noninsured Crop Coverage Policies

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that higher levels of coverage will be offered through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), a popular safety net program, beginning April 8, 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill also increased service fees and made other changes to the program, including service fee waivers for qualified military veterans interested in obtaining NAP coverage.

“When other insurance coverage is not an option, NAP is a valuable risk mitigation tool for farmers and ranchers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “In agriculture, losses from natural disasters are a matter of when, not if, and having a NAP policy provides a little peace of mind.”

NAP provides financial assistance to producers of commercial crops for which insurance coverage is not available in order to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses or prevent crop planting.

 NAP Buy-Up Coverage Option

The 2018 Farm Bill reinstates higher levels of coverage, from 50 to 65 percent of expected production in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Producers of organics and crops marketed directly to consumers also may exercise the “buy-up” option to obtain NAP coverage of 100 percent of the average market price at the coverage levels of between 50 and 65 percent of expected production. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production.

Producers have a one-time opportunity until May 24, 2019, to obtain buy-up coverage for 2019 or 2020 eligible crops for which the NAP application closing date has passed.

Buy-up coverage is not available for crops intended for grazing.

NAP Service Fees

For all coverage levels, the new NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties. These amounts reflect a $75 service fee increase for crop, county or multi-county coverage. The fee increases apply to obtaining NAP coverage on crops on or after April 8, 2019.

 NAP Enhancements for Qualified Military Veterans

The 2018 Farm Bill NAP amendments specify that qualified veteran farmers or ranchers are now eligible for a service fee waiver and premium reduction, if the NAP applicant meets certain eligibility criteria.

Beginning, limited resource and targeted underserved farmers or ranchers remain eligible for a waiver of NAP service fees and premium reduction when they file form CCC-860, “Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource and Beginning Farmer or Rancher Certification.

For NAP application, eligibility and related program information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov.


USDA Announces February Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers Second 2019 Dairy Safety Net Payment

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the February 2019 income over feed cost margin was $8.22 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the second payment for dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Sign up for DMC will open by mid-June of this year. At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.50 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for February 2019.

For example, a dairy operation that chooses to enroll an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level on 95 percent of production would receive $3,040 for February.

Sample calculation 1:

$9.50 - $8.22 margin = $1.28 difference

$1.28 x 95 percent of production x 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $ 3,040

DMC premiums are paid annually. The calculated annual premium for coverage at $9.50 on 95 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $4,275.

Sample calculation 2:

3,000,000 x 95 percent = 2,850,000/100 = 28,500 cwt. x 0.150 premium fee = $4,275.

The dairy operation in the example calculation will pay $4,275 in total premium payments for all of 2019 and receive $6,626.25 in Dairy Margin Coverage payments for January and February combined. Additional payments will be made if calculated margins remain below the $9.50/cwt level.

All participants are also required to pay an annual $100 administrative fee in addition to any premium, and payments will be subject to a 6.2% reduction to account for federal sequestration.

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates. For the example above, this would reduce the annual premium by $1,068.75

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. FSA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.

Additional details about DMC and other Farm Bill program changes can be found at farmers.gov/farmbill.


Georgia State Farm Service Agency Hosts Ceremony for Thomas R. Breedlove, Sr.

The Georgia State Farm Service Agency Office joined with the family of Thomas R. Breedlove, Sr. to remember and pay tribute to his achievements with a special program held in his honor. Thomas R Breedlove, Sr. was the first longest serving Georgia State Director for the Agriculture Adjustment Administration (“Triple A”), now known as the Farm Service Agency (FSA). President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Mr. Breedlove in 1939, and he served as State Director for 16 years, until 1955. Three of Mr. Breedlove's grandchildren, Bill and Thomas Verner and Sally Verner Tuell, as well as his great-grandson, Thomas R. Breedlove IV, were in attendance and shared personal memories, before presenting a framed portrait and bio of Mr. Breedlove to the Georgia State FSA Office. On September 25, 2015, Mr. Thomas R. Breedlove, Sr. was posthumously recognized with his induction into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame for his outstanding service to Georgia agriculture.

 

Questions?

For your local county contact please call 706-546-2266.

State Office contact Brett Martin, Farm Programs Chief, at 706-546-2262, brett.martin@usda.gov or Farm Loans, please contact Robert Tyson, Farm Loan Chief, at 706-546-2166, robert.tyson@usda.gov.


Farm Storage Facility Loans

FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks.

The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water). Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for eligible commodities.

Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security agreement. Loans exceeding $50,000 require additional security.

Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized
businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved producers.

To learn more about the FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport or contact your local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.


USDA Commodity Loans Available to Producers

Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency reminds producers that Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs) are available to help producers through periods of low market prices. The 2014 Farm Bill authorized MALs and LDPs for the 2014 to 2018 crop

MALs provide interim financing and allow producers to delay the sale of the commodity at harvest- time lows and wait until more favorable market conditions emerge. A producer who is eligible to obtain a loan, but agrees to forgo the loan, may obtain an LDP if such a payment is available.

MALs and LDPs provide financing and marketing assistance for wheat, feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, pulse crops, rice, peanuts, cotton, wool and honey.

Georgia FSA offices are now accepting requests for 2018 MALs and LDPs for all eligible commodities after harvest.

Before MAL repayments and LDP disbursements can be made, producers must meet the requirements of actively engaged in farming, cash-rent tenant and member contribution.

In order to meet eligibility requirements, producers must retain beneficial interest in the commodity, meaning they have control of the commodity or a title to the commodity, until the MAL is repaid or the Commodity Credit Corporation takes title to the commodity.

The 2014 Farm Bill also establishes payment limitations per individual or entity not to exceed $125,000 annually on certain commodities for the following program benefits: Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage payments, Marketing Loan Gains and LDPs. These payment limitations do not apply to MAL disbursements.

Producers or legal entities whose total applicable three-year average adjusted gross income exceeds $900,000 are not eligible for Marketing Loan Gains and LDPs, but are eligible for MALs repaid at principal plus interest.

For more information, please visit your local FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov. To find your local USDA service center, visit www.farmers.gov.


2019 Acreage Reporting Dates

In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit their local County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline.

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Georgia:

May 15, 2019: Sweet Corn (planted 8/26-5/15), Tobacco, Tomatoes (Planted 8/16-4/5)

 

July 15, 2019: All other crops, including Perennial Forage

 

Aug. 15, 2019: Tomatoes (planted 7/1 - 8/15)

 

Sept. 15, 2019: Sweet Corn (planted 7/15 - 8/25)

 

Oct. 15, 2019: Cabbage (planted 7/16 - 9/30

 

Nov. 15, 2019: Onions (Planted 9/20-10/20)

Nov. 15, 2019: NAP Perennial Forage

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

  • If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is
  • If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchasing or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county
  • If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policyholders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

 


Submit Loan Requests for Financing Early

The Farm Loan teams in Georgia are already working on operating loans for spring 2019 so it is important that potential borrowers submit their requests early so they can be timely processed. The farm loan team can help determine which loan programs are best for applicants.

FSA offers a wide range of low-interest loans that can meet the financial needs of any farm operation for just about any purpose. The traditional farm operating and farm ownership loans can help large and small farm operations take advantage of early purchasing discounts for spring inputs as well expenses throughout the year.

Microloans are a simplified loan program that will provide up to $50,000 to eligible

applicants. These loans, targeted for smaller operations and non-traditional operations, can be used for operating expenses, starting a new agricultural enterprise, purchasing equipment, and other needs associated with a farming operation. The County FSA Office can provide more details on farm operating and microloans and provide loan applications. Loans to beginning farmers and members of underserved groups are a priority. 

Other types of loans available include:

Marketing Assistance Loans allow producers to use eligible commodities as loan collateral and obtain a 9-month loan while the crop is in storage. These loans provide cash flow to the producer and allow them to market the crop when prices may be more advantageous.

Farm Storage Facility Loans can be used to build permanent structures used to store eligible commodities, or for storage and handling trucks, or portable or permanent handling equipment. A variety of structures are eligible under this loan, including bunker silos, grain bins, hay storage structures and refrigerated structures for vegetables and fruit. A producer may borrow up to $500,000 per loan.

Please call your local county office if you have questions about any of the loans available through FSA.


 

USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding for Underserved Groups and Beginning Farmers

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that FSA offers targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to assist underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers and ranchers.

USDA defines underserved applicants as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of the group without regard to their individual qualities. For farm loan program purposes, targeted underserved groups are women, African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics and Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Underserved or beginning farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank can apply for either FSA direct loans or guaranteed loans. Direct loans are made to applicants by FSA. Guaranteed loans are made by lending institutions who arrange for FSA to guarantee the loan. FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. The FSA guarantee allows lenders to make agricultural credit available to producers who do not meet the lender's normal underwriting criteria.

The direct and guaranteed loan program provides for two types of loans: farm ownership loans and farm operating loans. In addition to customary farm operating and ownership loans, FSA now offers Microloans through the direct loan program. The focus of Microloans is on the financing needs of small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm operations. Microloans are available for both ownership and operating finance needs. To learn more about microloans, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans.

To qualify as a beginning producer, the individual or entity must meet the eligibility requirements outlined for direct or guaranteed loans. Additionally, individuals and all entity members must have operated a farm for less than 10 years. Applicants must materially or substantially participate in the operation.

For more information on FSA’s farm loan programs and targeted underserved and beginning farmer guidelines, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/farmloans.


Georgia State FSA Office:

355 East Hancock Avenue, STOP 100
Athens, Georgia 30601-2775
Phone: (706) 546-2266
Fax: (855) 409-5735
E-mail Us

State Executive Director: Talmadge A. Smith, Sr., (706) 546-2266

Georgia State Committee:

  • Allen Poole, Chairperson, (770) 634-6103
  • L. G. (Bo) Herndon, Jr., Member, (912) 293-1316 
  • Meredith M. Rogers, Member, (229) 336-3725
  • Donnie Smith, Member, (912) 327-9292    
  • Kevin Cobb, Member, (478) 348-4242 
    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. The Georgia Farm Service Agency State Committee oversees the farm program activities of the agency. The members are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. They hear appeals from local farmers and guide the direction of farm program related agency policy.