Florida FSA - Columbia and Union Counties - November Updates

November 19, 2015

Bulletin Masthead

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Columbia-Union County FSA Updates


2304 SW Main Blvd
Suite 103
Lake City, FL 32025  

386-752-8447 Phone 
855-485-0087 Fax   
  
 Hours 
 Monday - Friday
 8:00 am – 4:30 pm     

County Committee            
The County Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for December 10, 2015 at 10 am.

COC Members:
Travis Dicks Chairperson
Ross Terry Vice Chairperson
Delvey Dicks Member
Alan Courson Member
Joshua Smith Member
Walter Rentz Advisor

County Office Staff 
Hugh Hunter, County Executive Director 
  
Jim Boyd, Farm Loans
352-372-4668

Bunny Dubas, PT    
Jenny Morrison, PT   
Website:  www.fsa.usda.gov

From the Desk of Hugh Hunter, CED

My office staff and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  Thanks to the commitment of the farmers and ranchers who provide food and fiber to this great country and the bounty we enjoy.

Columbia County producers eligible to vote in the County Committee election received ballots on November 9th.  Please take the time to vote.


Incentives for Working Grass, Range and Pasture Lands

Beginning Sept. 1, farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to help conserve working grasslands, rangeland and pastureland while maintaining the areas as livestock grazing lands.

The initiative is part of the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a federally funded program that for 30 years has assisted agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In return, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. CRP has helped farmers and ranchers prevent more than 8 billion tons of soil from eroding, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to cropland by 95 and 85 percent respectively, and even sequester 43 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, equal to taking 8 million cars off the road.

The CRP-Grasslands initiative will provide participants who establish long-term, resource-conserving covers with annual rental payments up to 75 percent of the grazing value of the land. Cost-share assistance also is available for up to 50 percent of the covers and other practices, such as cross fencing to support rotational grazing or improving pasture cover to benefit pollinators or other wildlife. Participants may still conduct common grazing practices, produce hay, mow, or harvest for seed production, conduct fire rehabilitation, and construct firebreaks and fences.

With the publication of the CRP regulation today, the Farm Service Agency will accept applications on an ongoing basis beginning Sept. 1, 2015, with those applications scored against published ranking criteria, and approved based on the competiveness of the offer. The ranking period will occur at least once per year and be announced at least 30 days prior to its start.  The end of the first ranking period will be Nov. 20, 2015.

To learn more about participating in CRP-Grasslands or SAFE, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp or consult with the local Farm Service Agency county office.  To locate a nearby Farm Service Agency office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.   To learn more about the 30th anniversary of CRP, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/CRPis30 or follow on Twitter using #CRPis30.