December Farm Service Agency Newsletter and Updates for South Carolina Farmers and Ranchers

December 2019

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Topics For December

South Carolina

Farm Service Agency

1927 Thurmond Mall
Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803.806.3820
State Executive Director: 
Boone Peeler
State Committee:
Anthony Grant, Chairperson
Robert Battle
Bill Sarratt
Landy Weathers
Beth White
Administrative Officer:
Kenn Jameson
Farm Programs Chief:
Amy Turner
Farm Loan Programs Chief:
William Shelley
Producers can contact their local FSA Office for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Important Dates and Deadlines:
December 25:  Offices closed for Christmas Day
January 1:  Offices closed for New Year's Day
January 15-16:  SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo - Florence, SC
January 20:  Offices closed for the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
February 28:  NAP Application Closing Date for Beans - All, Canary Melon, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Grain Sorghum - not covered by FCIC, Honeydew, Korean Golden Melon, Millet, Okra, Peanuts, Peppers, Pumpkins, Rice, Sorghum Dual Purpose, Sorghum Forage, Soybeans - not covered by FCIC, Sprite Melon, Squash, Sunflowers, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatillos, Tomatoes - not covered by FCIC, Watermelons



A Message from the State Executive Director

As the Holiday Season is upon us, South Carolina FSA would like to extend a Merry Christmas to all. Have a safe Holiday Season and we wish you a New Year full of success. We value and appreciate our relationship with all our customers and look forward to working with you in the future. 

USDA Announces Opening Signup for Conservation Reserve Program on December 9, 2019

USDA is opening signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on December 9, 2019. The deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for general CRP is February 28, 2020, while signup for continuous CRP is ongoing.

Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive a yearly rental payment for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands.

CRP has 22 million acres enrolled, but the 2018 Farm Bill lifted the cap to 27 million acres. This means farmers and ranchers have a chance to enroll in CRP for the first time or continue their participation for another term.

By enrolling in CRP, producers are improving water quality, reducing soil erosion, and restoring habitat for wildlife. This in turn spurs hunting, fishing, recreation, tourism, and other economic development across rural America.

CRP Enrollment Options

General Signup

CRP general signup will be held annually. The competitive general signup will now include increased opportunities for enrollment of wildlife habitat through the State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) initiative. 

Continuous Signup

While some practices under SAFE will remain available through continuous signup, CRP continuous signup will focus primarily on water quality with the Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers (CLEAR) Initiative. The 2018 Farm Bill prioritizes water quality practices such as contour grass strips, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetlands and a new prairie strip.

USDA will also be working with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) partners to relaunch CREP continuous options in each state under new statutory provisions. CREP will continue to target high-priority local, state or regional conservation concerns.

Grasslands Signups

CRP Grasslands signup helps landowners and operators protect grassland, including rangeland, and pastureland and certain other lands while maintaining the areas as grazing lands. A separate CRP Grasslands signup will be offered each year following general signup.

Pilot Programs

Later in 2020, (FSA will roll out pilot programs within CRP: CLEAR 30, which allows contracts expiring with CLEAR practices to be reenrolled in 30-year contracts and in the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) in the prairie pothole region. More information on these programs will be announced in the new year.