The spring planting season is underway and local U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices are getting calls from farmers, asking if they need to sign up for the farm program before heading to the fields.
The FSA County Executive Director for Dickinson and Emmet Counties, Larry Lago, says he thinks he knows why he’s getting the calls. “Probably because this is the first time in many, many years where a product is actually going to head to the field and do spring field work and planting and not have been provided an opportunity to sign up for a farm program. This year is an exception to that as there is not sign up for a farm program as this time,” Lago says.
Even though farmers don’t need to sign up for the farm program now, he says they still need to keep good records. “They’ll want to keep track of their planting dates, obviously the field sizes and what’s planted in that field. That’s not only needed for U.S.D.A. farm programs, but if they have crop insurance on that crop, their agent is going to want to know that information as well,” Lago explains.
Lago adds that growers on highly-erodible land need to pay special attention to their tillage practices. He says farmers need to be mindful that they are using residue management as part of the conservation plan to keep soil loss to acceptable levels. Lago says that means using tillage processes that ensure there is enough cover once the crops are planted to keep soil loss at manageable levels.
The state crop report released Monday said corn planting was just getting underway, but was expected to pick up steam this week with warmer temperatures.
(Reporting by Dan Skelton, KICD, Spencer)