The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reminding producers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (form AD-1026) with their local USDA Service Center, either by filing in person or postmarking today, June 1, 2015.
The 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to have the form on file in order to remain eligible or to become eligible for federal crop insurance premium subsidies. Many producers already have a certification form on file since it’s required for participation in most USDA programs including marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans and disaster assistance.
But producers who only participate in the federal crop insurance program must now file a certification form to receive crop insurance premium support. These producers might include specialty crop farmers who may not participate in other USDA programs.
Form AD-1026 is available at local USDA Service Centers or online. When a farmer completes this form, USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff will identify any additional actions that may be required for compliance with highly erodible land and wetland provisions. USDA’s Risk Management Agency, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, manages the federal crop insurance program.
USDA has conducted extensive outreach over the past year, especially to producers who only participate in the federal crop insurance program and may be subject to conservation compliance for the first time. Along with the outreach done by crop insurance agents and companies, USDA efforts have included letters, postcards, phone calls, producer meetings and interaction with stakeholder groups to help them reach their members. While there are procedures in place to correct good faith errors and omissions on certification forms, the deadline cannot be waived or extended, and a form must be filed by June 1.
If you have questions about conservation compliance, contact the FSA representative at your local USDA Service Center. USDA has a number of resources available online, including a Five Steps to Meet Conservation Compliance guide and frequently asked questions.