On Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the March 31 deadline for adjusting your crop base, updating your average yields, and making a selection on which Farm Bill program you wanted to participate in was being extended by one week. FSA administer Val Dolcini says the new deadline is April 7, “About 98% of owners have updated yield and base, and about 90% have made a choice between the ARD or PLC. But this is such an important decision we wanted to make sure all producers have the time to make the right decision.”
In Indiana, the FSA reports most of producers have visited their county office. “We are very close to completion. We’re in the 90 percentile, and foot and phone traffic is heavy in all of our offices for this last week,” said State Director Julia Wickard.
But, with recent changes in commodity prices, you may be having second thoughts about your choice — no problem. Dolcini said the extension gives you an extra week to change your mind, “Decisions that have been made can be undone prior to the deadline.” He added that the deadline extension was meant to accommodate producers who had not made a decision to start with and that he hoped there would not be a lot of people coming into the local office to change their minds.
While the deadline is April 7, you really do not have to have all your paperwork done by that day. Dolcini says as long as you have a scheduled appointment made by April 7 you are OK. The actual visit to the local office and filing of the paperwork can take place after April 7, “This is something we have had to do before, and I suspect we will have to do it again this time.” FSA officials say most of the hold up seems to be in SW states. Special teams are being sent to there to help with what may be a last minute crunch in those areas.