(03/20/2012)
Signature Requirements

A Power of Attorney form (FSA-211) must be filed with this office to allow another person to sign on behalf of producers. Spouses may sign documents on behalf of each other for FSA and CCC programs in which either has an interest, unless written notification denying spouse this authority has been provided to the County Office. However, the following exceptions apply: 1) Spouses shall not sign FSA-211 on behalf of the other; 2) Spouses shall not sign on behalf of the other as an authorized signatory for a partnership, joint venture, corporation, or other similar entity; 3) Spouses must have a power of attorney on file or sign personally for claim settlements, such as promissory notes.

A spouse's authority to sign documents on behalf of the other spouse does not entitle a spouse to review or receive Agency records of the other spouse.

FAXed Signatures

FAXed signatures from producers are accepted for certain forms and documents. However, producers are responsible for the successful transmission and receipt of information provided to the office through a telefacsimile transmission. USDA is not responsible for any transmission failures or any other problems that prevent the successful or timely receipt of information. To find out if a form or document is authorized for a FAXed signature, contact your local FSA Office.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Requirement

Participants must comply with the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) requirements to remain eligible for certain program benefits. For commodity, disaster and price support programs, if the individual or entity has average nonfarm AGI greater than $500,000, then the individual or entity is not eligible. If average farm AGI is greater than $750,000 then the individual or entity is not eligible for direct payments under the Direct & Counter-cyclical Program (DCP). For 2012 only, individuals or entities with total AGI greater than $1 million is ineligible for DCP direct payments. For conservation programs, if the individual or entity has total AGI greater than $1 million, the individual or entity is not eligible unless at least 66.66 percent is derived from farming, ranching, and forestry operations. The individual or entity would also be ineligible if the nonfarm AGI is greater than $1 million.

Payment Limitation

Producers participating in USDA programs may be required to complete payment limitation determination forms to insure that payment limitation and payment eligibility requirements are met. No benefits will be provided until necessary forms are filed and determination is made. Determinations may be initiated by COC or requested by the producer. Once filed, this form will remain in effect for subsequent years unless a change in farming operation occurs. Producers are required to notify FSA of any changes that would affect original determination. Producers who file payment limitation forms are subject to spot-check.

"Person" and permitted entity rules no longer apply. Payments will be limited by direct attribution of payments. The payment limitation is applied by crediting individuals and entities with both the amount of payments they receive directly and also the amount they are considered to have received indirectly by holding an interest in an entity receiving payment.

If a program requires a determination of "actively engaged in farming" and a producer is determined not "actively engaged in farming", the producer becomes ineligible for benefits in that program.

Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA)

The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) requires all foreign owners of U.S. agricultural land to report their holdings to the Secretary of Agriculture on form FSA-153. The USDA Farm Service Agency administers this program. Foreign persons who have purchased or sold agricultural land in the county are required to report the transaction to FSA within 90 days of the closing. Failure to submit the AFIDA Form FSA-153 or submitting a report that is incomplete, misleading, or false is subject to civil penalties of up to 25% of the fair market value of the property on the date the penalty is assessed. County government offices, realtors, attorneys and others involved in real estate transactions are reminded to notify foreign investors of these reporting requirements. It is the foreign person's responsibility to report the land transactions.

Record Changes

In a continuing effort to keep farm records updated, producers registered with the Farm Service Agency are asked to notify the office of any changes in farming operations, such as the sale or purchase of land or a change in operator. This also includes changes in mailing address.

Reconstitutions

Some changes in farming operations may require a reconstitution. A reconstitution is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land in FSA records based on the farming operation.

Following are the different methods used when doing farm divisions: 1) Estate Method - the division of bases for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate; 2) Designation of Landowner Method - division of bases in the manner agreed to by the parent farm owner and purchaser or transferee; 3) DCP (Direct & Counter Cyclical program) Cropland - division of bases in the same proportion that the DCP cropland for each resulting tract relates to the DCP cropland on the parent tract; & 4) Default Method - division of bases for a parent farm with each tract maintaining the bases attributed to the tract level.

To be effective for the current year, farm combinations and farm divisions must be requested by August 1 for farms subject to DCP. Reconstitutions can be requested anytime for nonparticipating or total CRP farms.

Conservation Compliance

Participation in most programs offered by FSA requires compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland provisions (HELC/WC). Producers are required to certify compliance with these provisions by filing an AD-1026. By signing the AD-1026 producers are agreeing to abide by all HELC/WC regulations.

Preventing Fraud and Waste

FSA has joined with the Risk Management Agency to prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the Federal Crop Insurance Program. FSA has been, and will continue to, assist RMA and insurance providers by monitoring crop conditions throughout the growing season. In addition, FSA will refer all suspected cases of fraud, waste and abuse to RMA. Producers can report suspected cases to the county office staff, RMA office, or the Office of the Inspector General. For information on FSA programs or other policies and procedures contact the Gilmer-Calhoun FSA Office at (304) 462-7171 extension 2 or visit the office located in the Glenville Post Office Building, Room 122. Special accommodations will be made, upon request, for persons with disabilities, vision or hearing impairments. Please call if accommodations are required.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.


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