USDA Service Centers in Nebraska will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and use online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. In the event a Service Center is not currently available to serve customers on location, producers can receive assistance from the closest alternate Service Center by phone. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Individuals interested in participating in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands can complete an application at their local Farm Service Agency office now through May 15. CRP Grasslands is a working grazing lands program, where participants retain the right to conduct common grazing practices within an approved conservation plan. Participants receive annual rental payments in exchange for establishing conservation practices; contracts are for 10 or 15 years. FSA will rank applications in a competitive process.
To learn more, visit your nearest county FSA office.
For producers who haven't already completed the process, enrollment is open for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2020 production season now through June 30, 2020. Some producers may have completed this process during the recent 2019 enrollment period.
ARC and PLC are two of the main commodity crop safety net programs of the 2018 Farm Bill. Covered commodities in Nebraska include corn, soybeans, wheat and grain sorghum, among others. ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guarantee level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price.
Producers also have an option to update their PLC yield on covered commodity base crops. This opportunity is available through Sept. 30, 2020. A tool is available to assist in determining yield updates at this link. For more information on PLC yield update, please ask your county FSA office staff.
The state of Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has received approval of its state hemp plan. Those interested in hemp cultivation, processing, handling and brokering in the state need to secure a hemp license and can do so through NDA.
USDA agencies, including FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency, each could play a part in the hemp production industry in the state. To learn how, visit farmers.gov/manage/hemp.
Farm Service Agency continues to implement programs to address the impacts of adverse weather in 2019. County FSA office staff will be able to provide individuals with the best information for their individual situations. County office contact information can be found at offices.usda.gov.
Nebraska FSA is implementing several programs to assist producers with losses due to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Three programs currently open for application include: On-Farm Storage Loss Program, which is designed to aid producers who lost stored commodities due to natural disaster in 2018 or 2019; the WHIP+ Program, which is designed to assist producers who lost certain crops, trees, bushes or vines due to natural disaster in 2018 or 2019; and the Milk Loss Program, designed to assist dairy producers who dumped milk without compensation from the commercial market due to a qualifying disaster in 2018 or 2019.
Here is a summary of some of the other assistance programs that can be implemented as part of a disaster response effort:
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP): This program financially assists producers when they suffer loss of livestock, above normal mortality, due to adverse weather. A notice of loss must be filed with the county FSA office within 30 days of when the loss becomes apparent.
Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): ECP can provide some cost-share assistance to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. It also can provide cost-share assistance to help restore fences damaged or lost due to natural disaster. Contact your county office about this program before taking any action to repair damages.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP): ELAP can provide some financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish when losses are tied to an eligible adverse weather event and those losses are not covered under other disaster programs. This can include, in certain situations, some financial assistance for grazing losses or hay losses due to adverse weather events such as flooding. Contact your county FSA office to learn more about this program.
There also may be options for assistance through FSA farm loan programs, including the Disaster Set-Aside Program, which allows existing FSA farm loan customers to delay a loan payment, and the Emergency Loan Program. These programs become available when a disaster designation is granted for a county.
To view disaster designations, click below:
Fact sheets that outline the various disaster programs noted above, as well as other available programs, can be found at this link by scrolling down to the Disaster Protection and Recovery section.
GovDelivery, FSA’s digital news service, distributes timely information on Farm Bill programs direct to your email inbox. It can help you remember important program deadlines and requirements so you can effectively utilize FSA programs in your farm or ranch operation.
In addition to the email newsletter, you also can sign up to receive information through our GovDelivery text messaging service. Text messages only are issued to remind subscribers of timely, important program deadlines or other information. No more than two texts will be sent in a month, and often, it will be less than that amount. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Click here to subscribe to either the newsletter, text messaging, or both.
There are options for Farm Service Agency loan customers experiencing financial stress. If you are a borrower who is unable to make payments on a loan, contact your local FSA Farm Loan Manager to learn about the options available to you.
Our primary mission is to help Nebraska farmers and ranchers secure financial assistance from USDA programs through accurate, timely and efficient program delivery.
Nebraska FSA is proud to continue its strong tradition of providing customer-based service to Nebraska producers. The hard-working men and women of our FSA county offices are at the forefront of our efforts and remain the primary contact for program participation. We encourage you to speak with the staff at your local office about how we can be of service. Our website can help you learn more about FSA programs and services and help you locate your local FSA Service Center.
In the event you need additional assistance that you can't get from the local level, please don't hesitate to contact me the State FSA Office at the address or phone number listed below.
Nancy Johner, Nebraska FSA State Executive Director
7131 A Street
Lincoln, NE 68510