Thursday, April 9, 2020

USDA Announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans Now Extended to 12 Months

USDA Announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans Now Extended to 12 Months

Agricultural producers now have more time to repay Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The loans now mature at 12 months rather than nine, and this flexibility is available for most commodities.
Effective immediately, producers of eligible commodities now have up to 12 months to repay their commodity loans. The maturity extension applies to nonrecourse loans for crop years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Eligible open loans must in good standing with a maturity date of March 31, 2020, or later or new crop year (2019 or 2020) loans requested by September 30, 2020. All new loans requested by September 30, 2020, will have a maturity date 12 months following the date of approval.
The maturity extension for current, active loans will be automatically extended an additional 3 months. Loans that matured March 31 have already been automatically extended by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers who prefer a nine-month loan will need to contact their local FSA county office. Loans requested after September 30, 2020, will have a term of nine months.
Eligible commodities include barley, chickpeas (small and large), corn, cotton (upland and extra-long staple), dry peas, grain sorghum, honey, lentils, mohair, oats, peanuts, rice (long and medium grain), soybeans, unshorn pelts, wheat, wool (graded and nongraded); and other oilseeds, including canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sunflower seed, and sesame seed. Seed cotton and sugar are not eligible.
About MALs
Placing commodities under loan provides producers interim financing to meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are low and allows producers to store production for more orderly marketing of commodities throughout the year. 
These loans are considered nonrecourse because the commodity is pledged as loan collateral, and producers have the option of delivering the pledged collateral to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for repayment of the outstanding loan at maturity. 
MAL Repayment
Under the new maturity provisions, producers can still repay the loan as they would have before the extension:
  • repay the MAL on or before the maturity date;
  • upon maturity by delivering or forfeiting the commodity to CCC as loan repayment; or
  • after maturity and before CCC acquires the farm-stored commodity by repaying the outstanding MAL principle and interest.
Marketing Loan Gains
A Marketing Loan Gain occurs when a MAL is repaid at less than the loan principal. If market gain is applicable during the now-extended loan period, producers can receive a gain on the repayment made before the loan matures.
For more information on MALs, contact the nearest FSA county office. USDA Service Centers, including FSA county offices, are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at

Questions? Please contact your local FSA Office.

Monday, March 30, 2020

United Country Real Estate | Mike Bendele Co. and Ball Auction Service Ranks No. 1 Auction Sales Office in the Nation

Picture Attached.

United Country Real Estate | Mike Bendele Co. and Ball Auction Service Ranks No. 1 Auction Sales
Office in the Nation
March 13, 2020 (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – United Country Real Estate, the largest lifestyle and country real estate company in the U.S., recently announced that United Country Real Estate | Mike Bendele Co. based in Chandler, OK, ranked number 1 in United Country’s international network of nearly 500 offices for 2019.

“Offices like UCRE | Mike Bendele Co. showcase what character, expertise, hard work and dedication can achieve,” said Dan Duffy, CEO of United Country Real Estate. “We’ve had a great year across the board, but Mike Bendele Co. and their team achieved nearly 23 percent growth last year and have proven time and time again why they deserve to be at the top. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them.”

Mike Bendele Co. and Ball Auction Service was recognized during the 2020 National Training and
Awards Convention held in Arlington, TX, this month. Their achievements have distinguished them
amongst the top lifestyle real estate auction companies in the United States.

“Time and time again auctions prove to be an efficient and effective way to sell real estate.” Said
Broker/Owner Mike Bendele. “Our partnership with Ball Auction Service and over 50 years of serving Central Oklahoma have given us the ability to serve both sellers and buyers in a variety of ways. This has resulted in a superior experience for all. We are excited about our continued growth and look forward to launching new and innovative additional programs this year for our clients.”

Bendele attributes this success to team members John Ball, Assoc. Broker, Brian Bendele, Assoc. Broker and Justin Ball, Sales Assoc. and the 125 years of combined experience they bring.

“Whether it is a $30,000 home or a $3,000,000 farm or ranch, we approach every listing, sale or auction with the highest care and attention to detail.” said Bendele.

United Country Real Estate | Mike Bendele Co. can be contacted by phone at 405-258-0408 or by email at Their full listings can be viewed online at

About United Country United Country Real Estate –is the leading, fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals. The company has been an innovator in lifestyle and country real estate marketing since 1925. United Country supports a combined network of more than 500 offices and 6,000 real estate professionals across four continents, with a unique, comprehensive marketing program that includes the highest ranked and largest portfolios of specialty property marketing websites, the largest real estate marketing services company, an extensive buyer database of more than 750,000 opt-in buyers and exclusive statewide, regional and nationwide advertising of local area properties.

USDA Microloans Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property

USDA Microloans Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property

Producers, Including Beginning and Underserved Farmers, Have a New Option to Gain Access to Land
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans are especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations.
The microloan program has been hugely successful, providing more than 16,800 low-interest loans, totaling over $373 million to producers across the country. Microloans have helped farmers and ranchers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013. Seventy percent of loans have gone to new farmers.
Now, microloans will be available to also help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements. FSA designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers and can be issued to the applicant directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).
To learn more about the FSA microloan program visit, or contact your local FSA office.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

United Country Real Estate Announces Partnership with Realtree United Country Real Estate March 13, 2019

Kansas City, Mo., March 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United Country Real Estate, the largest seller of land and recreational properties nationwide, announced today a new partnership with Realtree, the world’s leader in camouflage design, marketing and licensing with more than 2,000 licensees. Together, the companies combined forces to create a new service called Realtree United Country Hunting Properties that will specifically cater to buyers and sellers interested in hunting, outdoor recreation and conservation properties.
“The combined hunting industry expertise of the leading and largest camouflage, hunting information and hunting property real estate companies was a perfect partnership designed to provide even higher services to hunting property buyers and sellers nationally. As the largest seller of hunting properties nationally, this combined effort brings a new level of benefits and services to our hunting property clients,” said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate.
The partnership and new service will provide a one-stop shop for hunters and real estate investors looking for recreational and hunting property, hunting attire and hunting property expertise. The partnership will also provide numerous benefits to those interested in buying or selling hunting property:
-- The largest inventory of hunting properties in the nation. -- Extensive website, TV, national digital media and print marketing for hunting properties. -- The largest team of hunting experts in the United States with recognized hunting authorities, nearly 6,000 real estate agents and 500 locations nationwide. -- Consulting services on land values, land and wildlife management, hunting land optimization and other property specific issues. -- Extensive mapping, video, photo and detailed information for each property. -- Proven long-standing experience and expertise in land sales since 1925.
“Our goal with Realtree United Country is to help hunters find, research, purchase and maintain property that allows them to live their ideal outdoor lifestyle,” said Bill Jordan, president and CEO of Realtree. “We want outdoorsmen and women to feel assured that they are getting the best advice and expertise at every step. Realtree United Country provides all services necessary to ensure clients make the right decisions on everything from property selection to treestands to taxes. Having been through the process of purchasing several tracts of land myself, I understand how many things there are to consider, both large and small, and it’s great to know that we now offer this service to make things easier and better for all hunters interested in purchasing their own place or selling their property the right way.”
To learn more about United Country Real Estate and Realtree United Country Hunting Properties, call (877) 232-9687 or visit the website at
Angela Smith 8164206249

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Field Reports Suggest Spring Turkey Numbers Similar to Last Year

Field Reports Suggest Spring Turkey Numbers Similar to Last Year

Oklahoma's 2018 spring turkey hunting season will start a half-hour before sunrise April 6 in all areas of the state except the Southeast Region. The season will run through May 6. In the eight-county Southeast Region, youth spring turkey season will be April 21-22, and the regional turkey season will be April 23 to May 6.
Based on field reports submitted in the past few days by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation personnel, habitat conditions vary from west to east, and bird numbers should comparable to last season. The timing of spring breeding activities for Oklahoma’s wild turkeys seems to running about normal.
By region, here are some insights for turkey hunters this spring.


Reported by Eddie Wilson, Northwest Region Senior Biologist
Current Gobbler Activity: The birds around Canton and in the eastern parts of the region are close to normal regarding spring breakup. Birds toward the west of the region are further behind and are just starting to show signs of breaking out of their winter flocks.
Condition of Habitat: Habitat conditions are extremely dry through most of the northwest counties and the Panhandle. For the most part, few spring plants greening up, and winter wheat is in mostly poor condition to nonexistent. From Woodward and west, about 1.5 inches of rain or less has fallen over the past 180 days, and most of that came in September. The east side of the region is in slightly better condition but is still experiencing drought conditions. We did have good rainfall last August, so plenty of nesting cover is available on wildlife management areas.
Reports From Landowners and Scouting Hunters: Overall, turkey numbers are stable in the northwest and will compare closely to last spring’s population. The exception would be areas that were burned in last spring's wildfires; numbers are lower in that region. The extreme drought has changed the turkey patterns, and I haven't been seeing birds where I normally do on Cooper and Fort Supply WMAs. Hopefully the region will get some rain and green up, and bird patterns will get back closer to normal.
WMAs in the Region: Canton, Cooper and Fort Supply are the most popular spring turkey hunting Wildlife Management Area destinations in the region. Most every WMA in the region offers spring turkey hunting opportunities. Don't forget to check on Oklahoma Land Access Program (OLAP) turkey hunting opportunities. Be sure to check the regulations regarding the WMA you choose to hunt: A number of the areas have a one-tom limit per hunter, and shooting hours close at 7 p.m. daily on some areas.
Best Tips:
1. Pre-scout the area you choose to hunt.
2. Take your time, and give the birds plenty of time to get to you. You may have to call in the hens to see a tom.
3. Try not to call too much.
Biggest Mistakes: 
1. Not getting away from the roads and getting deeper into the woods.
2. Hunting too close to the roost.
3. Not being prepared for all types of weather conditions.
Opening Day Expectations: Be ready to encounter other hunters and always be aware of your surroundings when calling turkeys, especially on wildlife management areas. As mentioned earlier, conditions are extremely dry and bird patterns are not necessarily normal. Things are likely going to be different from years past regarding turkey locations, especially during early season. I expect the success rate to be a little lower during early season on Cooper and Fort Supply this year. Late season may lead to a higher concentration of birds using the WMAs. For those planning to camp, most of northwestern Oklahoma is under a governor's burn ban, so no campfires. Good luck and hunt safe!


Reported by Ron Smith, Southwest Region Senior Biologist
Current Gobbler Activity: Turkeys began to move into their early spring pattern about March 15. Smaller groups are making their way toward traditional breeding grounds, with birds also being seen in new areas. Continuing drought conditions across western counties may be pushing birds a bit farther from winter roosts in search of better forage. Gobbler activity is steadily increasing and will be in full swing for opening day.
Condition of Habitat: Dry weather has returned with significant effects on habitat, though recent light rains would allow quick green-up. Overall cover will be thinner than in the previous few years. Winter wheat varies from poor to fair.
Reports From Landowners and Scouting Hunters: Good numbers of birds in traditional areas and improved numbers in areas where birds may have been nearly absent for a number of years. Gobblers are steadily breaking up into smaller groups and beginning to display. Hens remain in larger groups and are not yet receptive to gobbler activity.
WMAs in the Region: WMAs that consistently produce good turkey numbers include Packsaddle, Black Kettle and Ellis County. Areas that will produce fewer birds but still offer good hunting opportunity include Sandy Sanders, Altus-Lugert, Waurika and Fort Cobb.
Best Tips: Hunters should put as much time as possible into scouting. Historic areas may have shifted slightly due to drought, fire and ice storm impacts on roost sites and habitat. Patience and willingness to adapt will be helpful. As always, use the bird's natural behavior to plan your approach and tactics. Usual early and late-hour hunting will be productive, though midday patterns may also provide opportunity.
Biggest Mistakes: Failure to scout is often the biggest mistake that hunters make. Not everyone is a champion turkey caller, but willingness to adapt methods and learn from others may be helpful. Avoid overcalling. Listening to birds’ normal activities and working your way into the system is more productive than blasting away with every call in your arsenal.
Opening Day Expectations: Hunters can expect turkey numbers to be at or slightly above 2017. Gobblers will be fully engaged and provide a great show.


Reported by John Carter, Wildlife Biologist
Current Gobbler Activity: Winter flocks are breaking up with gobblers strutting and gobbling. Many hens are still in larger groups.
Condition of Habitat: Good on most WMAs. With the recent rainfall, green-up is progressing rapidly. Plenty of nesting habitat should be available due to the rainfall received in July and August of last year.
Reports From Landowners and Scouting Hunters: Gobbling activity is good. Gobblers are actively searching for hens. Some hens are still in winter flocks.
WMAs in the Region: In the north, Kaw WMA holds a good number of birds. If you are looking for turkeys in the central part of the state, Deep Fork WMA is a good choice. In south-central Oklahoma, Hickory Creek WMA or Arbuckle Springs WMA should provide some gobbling action.
Best Tips: 
1. Remember that how you set up is the most important part of calling in a gobbler.
2. Scouting is more important than calling.
3. Carry binoculars and use them.
Biggest Mistakes: 
1. Don't try to get too close to a gobbling bird; it has better eyes than you do.
2. Don’t leave just because a bird will not gobble. Many times, a gobbler with hens will strut and not gobble, and if you have patience the bird might come in.
Opening Day Expectations: Opening day should provide good hunting with birds responding well to calls as breeding activity increases. We should see a good age structure of gobblers after a few years of average hatches. Expect hunter numbers to be high due to the season opener being a Friday.


Reported by Bruce H. Burton, Northeast Region Wildlife Supervisor
Current Gobbler Activity: Birds are gobbling strong on roosts and often at any time of the day. Many gobblers are breeding hens and defending harems, leaving young birds (jakes) easy to call. Most adult toms are currently with hens a large part of the day.
Condition of Habitat: Unusually mild, dry winter and early spring led to lots of wildfires and controlled burns in the region. Seasonal rains in the last few weeks have green-up well under way on most disturbed soils. Look for these areas or for good strutting locations near nesting cover.
Reports From Landowners and Scouting Hunters: Birds are now highly visible and very vocal. Spring populations appear to be up slightly from last year in much of the region.
WMAs in the Region: Cherokee, Cookson, Spavinaw and Copan WMAs all appear to have good turkey numbers. Hunters should check regulations on all state areas as they may differ from statewide regulations.
Best Tips: 
1. Hunt afternoons when you have fewer hunters and hens to compete with.  
2. Avoid overcalling. A lonely tom can find you from a great distance with just one call. 
3. Be patient. Even though you might not be sure if a bird is coming, wait him out.
Biggest Mistakes: 
1. Always travel through the woods with blaze orange visible.
2. Overcalling. Every time you call, you have the opportunity to give yourself away.
3. Don't attempt to get too close to a located bird. Get settled in, concealed, and make the bird come to you.
Opening Day Expectations: Lots of birds and lots of pressure. Success will depend on being patient. Weather will probably determine whether opening weekend is a boom or a bust. Even if it is wet, hunters can capitalize by being ready every time there is a break in the weather.


Reported by Jack Waymire, Senior Biologist

REMINDER: Southeast Region 2018 Spring Turkey Season Open April 23-May 6.

Current Gobbler Activity: Spring breakup is beginning, with hens establishing their nests and laying eggs. Good gobbling, strutting and breeding activity is being observed.
Condition of Habitat: The habitat conditions are good. There are still some acorns available and spring green-up is under way. In some areas, heavy spring rains may cause some flooding in the lower-lying areas and could have an effect on habitat.
Reports From Landowners and Scouting Hunters: Gobbling activity is occurring early and late in the day, but some reports of midday gobbling also. Reports indicate good strutting and gobbling activity.
WMAs in the Region: McGee Creek WMA, Honobia Creek WMA, Three Rivers WMA.
Best Tips:
1. Begin scouting in areas where you found turkeys last spring.
2. Be patient.
3. Once a gobbler responds to your call, be reserved in your calling.
4. Eastern turkeys do not tolerate movement (be still).
5. Expect increased hunting pressure on public lands on weekends.
Biggest Mistakes: 
1. Don’t allow too much open space between you and the bird. Try to set up in a place where a turkey will be in shotgun range when it comes into view. (In other words, use the topography to your advantage.)
2. Allowing yourself to become impatient and failing to remain still. A turkey may come to you in silence.
Opening Day Expectations: Expect heavy hunting pressure on public lands. If you scouted an area and observed or heard turkeys earlier, don't leave that area because you haven’t heard any gobbling that morning. Those birds are still in the area. Many hens should be incubating their clutch of eggs at this time, so gobblers could be more responsive from midmorning to midafternoon. Hunt all day if you have the time.
*    *    *
The statewide season bag limit is three tom turkeys per hunter, but daily and season limits for individual counties and WMAs vary. To find out the bag limits for the areas you will hunt along with information about field tagging, E-Check and other turkey hunting requirements, consult the 2017-18 Oklahoma Hunting & Fishing Regulations Guide available at [], in the "OK Fishing and Hunting Guide" mobile app for Apple and Android, or in print free from license dealers statewide.
#   #   #
Don P. Brown (
or Micah Holmes (   Telephone(405) 521-4632

[]CLICK HERE to subscribe to Outdoor Oklahoma magazine. Only $10 per year!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

John Ball Inducted into OSAA Hall of Fame

John Ball Inducted into OSAA Hall of Fame

John Ball, real estate agent/auctioneer of United Country Real Estate | Mike Bendele Co. in Chandler, Okla., was recently inducted into the Oklahoma State Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame.
The induction took place during the Association’s annual winter meeting in February and came as a complete surprise to Ball.
“I was immensely shocked and very proud,” said Ball. “I was just walking up to the stage and I had this sense that someone was behind me so I turned around and there was my whole family, plus past & present business associates. It makes you feel so good to know how people in your industry see you and respect you. The most important thing in the auction business is integrity and honesty and that’s what we built our business on, so I am very proud.”
Ball has a long history in the auction industry, with more than 54 years under his belt. He got started in the auction business right after high school. He went to auction school in 1964 sold at livestock sale barns for four years in college, traveling many hours and long miles every weekend. He went to real estate school while in high school and bought the United Country Real Estate franchise in Chandler, Oklahoma in 1970 when he was only 23 years old.
“I really started to see how the auction and the real estate business work well together and how one would help feed the other,” said Ball. “I would sell in the livestock barn and then those people would recognize me when I was out selling real estate in the country. We could get on common ground really easily after that.”
During his run as the owner/broker for the UCRE office, he was consistently in the top 10 of all UCRE offices in the nation year after year. He even was the number two office in 1982. He later sold the franchise to Mike Bendele in 1984, but continued on as an agent and auctioneer, where he finished as a number two sales agent in the country in 2011. Now, his son auctioneers and his daughter clerks the sales. Both are continuing  their father’s business ethics.
“I really enjoy what I do every single day. If I didn’t care for something, I learned to like it. You really need to find joy in whatever you do,” said Ball. “I’m the luckiest and most blessed person in the world because I do what I feel like I was destined to do. It’s been a great ride and I’m still in the saddle.”
Ball and his team can be contacted by phone at 405-258-0408. For more information or to view their full listings and upcoming auctions, visit

Friday, February 16, 2018

February News From Oklahoma Farm Service Agency

Oklahoma FSA Newsletter

Oklahoma Farm Service Agency

Scott Biggs State Executive Director
100 USDA, Suite 102
Stillwater, OK 74074
405-742-1130 phone
855-416-9557 fax

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

State Committee Members:
Gary Crawley, McAlister
Sarah Dorsey, Bixby
Karen Eifert Jones, Waukomis
Don Allen Parsons, Idabel

State Staff:
Phil Estes,
Farm Loan Programs

J.D. Elwood
Production & Payment

Joy Alspach,

Danny Lee,
Compliance & Price Support

Krey Reimer,
Janlyn Hannah, Public Relations/Outreach
Please contact your local FSA Office for questions specific to your operation or county. FSA Office contact information can be located on our online Directory

From the Desk of the SED

February each year feels like being in the eye of a storm. A brief moment of calm between the holiday season and business as usual. 2017 is behind us and we prepare for what lies ahead- filing taxes, spring livestock shows, kids finishing their final semester of high school, and new animals on the ground. We expect those events.
This time of year also puts our minds in a state of anticipation- potential drought, late freezes, taking over an operation for an aging parent or introducing a child to managing their own herd. In this moment, before all the unknown become reality and the business of being busy sets in- take time to get your affairs in order.
Please make a point to stop by your FSA county office. Update your records. Make plans to sign up in ARC/PLC. Tell us about the new farm your managing. Learn about what programs are available if that rain we are praying for comes a little late. Malcolm X said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
As always, we at Farm Service Agency appreciate your commitment to Oklahoma agriculture and it is our honor to serve you.
-Scott Biggs, Oklahoma State Executive Director

Filing a Notice of Loss

The CCC-576, Notice of Loss, is used to report failed acreage and prevented planting and may be completed by any producer with an interest in the crop. Timely filing a Notice of Loss is required for all crops including grasses. For losses on crops covered by the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), you must file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss, in the FSA County Office the earlier of 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent or 15 days of the final harvest date.
Producers of hand-harvested crops must notify FSA of damage or loss through the administrative County Office within 72 hours of the date of damage or loss first becomes apparent. This notification can be provided by filing a CCC-576, email, fax or phone. Producers who notify the County Office by any method other than by filing the CCC-576 are still required to file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss, within the required 15 calendar days.
If filing for prevented planting, an acreage report and CCC-576 must be filed within 15 calendar days of the final planting date for the crop.

Cover Crop Guidelines

Recently the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) worked together to develop consistent, simple and a flexible policy for cover crop practices.
The termination and reporting guidelines were updated for cover crops.
The cover crop termination guidelines provide the timeline for terminating cover crops, are based on zones and apply to non-irrigated cropland. To view the zones and additional guidelines visit and click “Cover Crop Termination Guidelines.”
The intended use of cover only will be used to report cover crops. This includes crops
that were terminated by tillage and reported with an intended use code of green manure. An FSA policy change will allow cover crops to be hayed and grazed. Program eligibility for the cover crop that is being hayed or grazed will be determined by each specific program.
If the crop reported as cover only is harvested for any use other than forage or grazing and is not terminated properly, then that crop will no longer be considered a cover crop.
Crops reported with an intended use of cover only will not count toward the total cropland on the farm. In these situations a subsequent crop will be reported to account for all cropland on the farm.
Cover crops include grasses, legumes, and forbs, for seasonal cover and other conservation purposes. Cover crops are primarily used for erosion control, soil health Improvement, and water quality improvement. The cover crop may be terminated by natural causes, such as frost, or intentionally terminated through chemical application, crimping, rolling, tillage or cutting. A cover crop managed and terminated according to NRCS Cover Crop Termination Guidelines is not considered a crop for crop insurance purposes.
Cover crops can be planted: with no subsequent crop planted, before a subsequent crop, after prevented planting acreage, after a planted crop, or into a standing crop.

Maintaining Good Credit History

Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan programs require that applicants have a satisfactory credit history. A credit report is requested for all FSA direct farm loan applicants. These reports are reviewed to verify outstanding debts, if bills are paid timely and to determine the impact on cash flow.
Information found on a customer’s credit report is strictly confidential and is used only as an aid in conducting FSA business.
Our farm loan staff will discuss options with you if you have an unfavorable credit report and will provide a copy of your report. If you dispute the accuracy of the information on the credit report, it is up to you to contact the issuing credit report company to resolve any errors or inaccuracies.
There are multiple ways to remedy an unfavorable credit score.
  • Make sure to pay bills on time. Setting up automatic payments or automated reminders can be an effective way to remember payment due dates.
  • Pay down existing debt.
  • Keep your credit card balances low.
  • Avoid suddenly opening or closing existing credit accounts.
FSA’s farm loan staff will guide you through the process, which may require you to reapply for a loan after improving or correcting your credit report.For more information on FSA farm loan programs, visit

Recourse Seed Cotton Loans

Cotton producers can request a recourse seed cotton loan at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Due to this year’s large cotton crop and delayed ginning, these seed cotton loans can provide interim financing to producers until their cotton is ginned.
Recourse seed cotton loans are available from the beginning of harvest through March 31, 2018. Seed cotton loans must be repaid by May 31, 2018.
After the cotton has been ginned, the seed cotton loan is repaid with proceeds from the ginned cotton.
County Offices will provide written or e-mail notification to every Cooperative Marketing Association (CMA) or Loan Servicing Agent (LSA) used by the producer to ensure that the proceeds from a ginned cotton loan are used to repay a seed cotton loan obligation. Any proceeds obtained from LSA or CMA, whether from a loan or Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP), will be jointly payable to the producer and to the Commodity Credit Corporation if these proceeds are from a loan for the same cotton that is collateral for the seed cotton loan.
Contact your local FSA office to learn about eligible requirements or to request a seed cotton loan.

USDA Encourages Producers to Consider NAP Risk Protection Coverage before Crop Sales Deadlines

The Farm Service Agency encourages producers to examine available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the applicable crop sales deadline.
Producers are reminded that crops not covered by insurance may be eligible for NAP. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded NAP to include higher levels of protection. Beginning, underserved and limited resource farmers are now eligible for free catastrophic level coverage, as well as discounted premiums for additional levels of protection."
Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.
Producers can determine if crops are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP by visiting
NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production, with higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price, including coverage for organics and crops marketed directly to consumers.
Deadlines for coverage vary by state and crop. To learn more about NAP visit or contact your local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Centers go to
Federal crop insurance coverage is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. Agent lists are available at all USDA Service Centers or at USDA’s online Agent Locator: Producers can use the USDA Cost Estimator,, to predict insurance premium costs.

Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid from Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, not to exceed $750 per certification scope.
Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.
Ineligible costs include equipment, materials, supplies, transitional certification fees, late fees and inspections necessary to address National Organic Program regulatory violations.
Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to FSA county offices or they may apply through participating State Agencies, which will be listed at as their agreements to administer the program are finalized.
The FSA OCCSP application form is available at USDA's eForms site, by selecting "Browse forms" and entering "OCCSP" in the "title or keywords" field on the search page.
To learn more about organic certification cost share, visit or contact a local FSA office by visiting

Tree Assistance Program (TAP) Sign-up

Orchardists and nursery tree growers who experience losses from natural disasters during calendar year 2016 must submit a TAP application either 90 calendar days after the disaster event or the date when the loss is apparent. TAP was authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 as a permanent disaster program. TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
Eligible tree types include trees, bushes or vines that produce an annual crop for commercial purposes. Nursery trees include ornamental, fruit, nut and Christmas trees that are produced for commercial sale. Trees used for pulp or timber are ineligible.
To qualify for TAP, orchardists must suffer a qualifying tree, bush or vine loss in excess of 15 percent mortality from an eligible natural disaster. The eligible trees, bushes or vines must have been owned when the natural disaster occurred; however, eligible growers are not required to own the land on which the eligible trees, bushes and vines were planted.
If the TAP application is approved, the eligible trees, bushes and vines must be replaced within 12 months from the date the application is approved. The cumulative total quantity of acres planted to trees, bushes or vines, for which a producer can receive TAP payments, cannot exceed 500 acres annually.

USDA to Provide Agricultural Credit Training, Expand Opportunities for Farmer Veterans and Beginning Farmers

USDA is partnering with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) to conduct agricultural credit training sessions in the Midwest for military veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers. States under consideration to host the workshops include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska. 
These workshops will provide individuals interested in farming as a career, including military veterans, with methods to improve business planning and financial skills, and improve understanding of the risk management tools that can help small farm operations.
Other partners include Niman Ranch a community network of more than 700 independent family farmers and ranchers, and the Farm Credit Council and the Farm Credit System, which provides loans, leases and financial services to farmers, ranchers and rural businesses across the United States. The workshops will also include assistance with credit applications and introductions to local or regional food markets.
To learn more about veterans in agriculture, visit Visit or your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to learn more about FSA's farm loan programs. To find your local FSA office, visit More information also is available from the Farmer Veteran Coalition at

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Online Hay and Grazing Acres Locator Tool

FSA's Hay Net website  is the "go to" online resource for agricultural producers to list information concerning the need for hay and grazing acres or the availability of hay and grazing acres.
If, due to extenuating circumstances, producers are in need of hay and/or grazing acres to support livestock, please use Hay Net to post an advertisement seeking these resources. Likewise, landowners who have hay and/or grazing acres available for livestock producers should post a Hay Net advertisement as well.
A few things to remember when using the Hay Net website:
  • There is a one-time registration process that should be completed by all users who want to post an ad online.
  • Users who just want to browse ads DO NOT NEED to have an eAuthentication user id.
  • Hay and grazing acre ads will be automatically removed after a period of 13 months.
  • Please help your fellow farmer and rancher by keeping ads current and up to date and remove ads you no longer need or want advertised on Hay Net. Please, no corporate advertisements on this site.
Hay Net is brought to you by FSA as a public service. The sole purpose of this online resource is to provide a site for the exchange of information. FSA does not endorse, guarantee, or otherwise make representations of any kind regarding any user of this site and FSA is not responsible for defining the terms of grazing agreements or lease contracts.
For more information about Hay Net and other FSA services and programs, please contact your local FSA office.  For local FSA Service Center contact information, please visit:

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).