Closing a Loophole & Extended Deadlines
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
USDA recently announced a proposed rule to limit farm payments to non-farmers. Judy Olson, Washington State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency, explains why the USDA is proposing changes to the “Actively Engaged” rule.
OLSON: As I understand it the specific goal was that there has been a lot of criticism of USDA for making farm program payments in the past to non-family farmers; in other words maybe investors or remote owners that are not actively making their living off the family farm.
The proposed rule limits farm payments to individuals who may be designated as farm managers but are not actively engaged in farm management. In the Farm Bill, Congress gave USDA the authority to address this loophole for joint ventures and general partnerships.
OLSON: These changes do not change or affect farms that are totally owned and operated by family members, and that includes everyone in between Great-Grandfather and Great-Grandchild.
Specified changes in the rule would apply to payment eligibility for 2016. Those interested in commenting on the proposed definition and changes should provide written comment at www.regulations.gov by May 26, 2015.
Producers now have until April 7, 2015 to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage, the USDA Farm Service Agency safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. April 7, 2015 is also the final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres. For more information contact your local FSA office.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.