Farm Scoop – November 2018
Winter Greens Production Three-Day Short Course at UVM
Scholarships still available! See below for details.
Did you know it is possible to maintain green, nutritious, delicious vegetable production throughout the cold, northern winters of Vermont? Come learn how to use Passive Solar Greenhouses to grow cold hearty greens 365 days per year.
In our three-day, practical and hands-on short course, we will explore everything from site selection, brands of these high tunnels/hoophouses, the key principles to grow/maintain crops 365 days per year, the economics behind winter greens production, soil fertility management, and much more. We will use the 10,000 sq. ft. of winter growing space at Bread & Butter Farm as our hands on classroom. We will also visit other local farms who are extending their seasons to include winter greens.
The lead instructor, Corie Pierce, is a farmer and educator. She is co-owner and operator of Bread and Butter Farm (link) in South Burlington, Vermont, a diversified farm where among many things, they specialize in growing greens all winter long in unheated, passive solar greenhouses.
Thursday January 10, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (lunch included)
Friday January 11, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday January 12, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (lunch included)
For more information and to register, please visit our website (link).
A limited number of $250 scholarships will be available to students on a financial needs and merit basis through Continuing and Distance Education. If you are not in need of a scholarship, please allow others in financial need to access this resource. To apply for a scholarship, kindly complete the short application online (link).
The deadline for scholarship applications is December 1, 2018. The Scholarship Committee in the Continuing and Distance Education Department will review scholarship applications. Decisions will be made by December 11.
If you have any questions, please email S’ra DeSantis at email@example.com.
USDA Reminds Producers of Disaster Program Deadlines
Bangor, ME, November 9, 2018 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director David R. Lavway reminds Maine producers who experienced losses from natural disasters during the 2017 and 2018 calendar years that they may be eligible for assistance through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).
“We want to ensure that all eligible agricultural producers who experienced losses from natural disasters get the assistance they need,” said Lavway.
Tree Assistance Program (TAP):
TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines lost due to natural disasters. Payment eligibility is triggered when a mortality loss in excess of 15 percent on a stand (adjusted for normal mortality) occurs due to natural disaster.
In addition, up to $15 million is available to eligible pecan orchardists or pecan nursery tree growers for certain mortality losses incurred during 2017. To be eligible, the grower must have suffered a mortality loss on a stand in excess of 7.5 percent, but less than 15 percent, adjusted for normal mortality from Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017.
For 2017 and 2018 TAP losses, and 2017 Pecan TAP losses, growers have until the later of Dec. 3, 2018, or 90 calendar days after the disaster event or date when the loss of trees becomes apparent to submit an application with supporting documentation.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP):
ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish who have suffered losses due to an adverse weather or loss condition, including blizzards, disease, water shortages and wildfires. ELAP assistance is provided for losses not covered by other disaster assistance programs.
For 2017 and 2018 ELAP, producers must file a notice of loss and application for payment at their local FSA office by Dec. 3, 2018. for losses occurring from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2018.
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP):
LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock owners or contract growers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality, or injury resulting in reduced value, caused by an eligible loss condition.
For 2017 and 2018 LIP, a livestock owner or contract grower must file a notice of loss the later of 30 calendar days from when the loss of livestock is first apparent, or Dec. 3, 2018. For 2017 losses, a livestock owner or contract grower must file an application for payment by Dec. 3, 2018. For 2018 losses, a livestock owner or contract grower must file an application for payment by, March 1, 2019.
Other Amendments to the 2014 Farm Bill by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018
“In February, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made several changes to FSA disaster programs,” SED Lavway said. “This includes eliminating the $20 million fiscal year funding cap for ELAP, eliminating the $125,000 payment limitation for LIP for 2017 and future years and allowing producers to receive a payment for injured livestock that are sold for a reduced price due to an eligible event.”
As a result of these changes, starting June 4, producers were allowed to submit ELAP, LIP and LFP applications for 2017 losses if they reached the payment limitation under the previous rules. The application periods for these programs for the 2017 program year will close on Dec. 3, 2018. Producers who already submitted applications and received decisions on their applications for these years do not need to file again but can reapply if they have additional losses or their application or notice of loss was denied because it was late filed.
Contact your local FSA office for program deadlines. For more information on FSA disaster assistance programs or to find your local USDA Service Center, visit the USDA’s Farmers website.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
Contact: Marcia L Hall
Oxford County Farm Service Agency
Address: 17 Olson Rd., Suite 1 South Paris, ME 04281
USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding for Underserved Groups and Beginning Farmers
Bangor, ME, November 7, 2018 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Maine Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director SED David R. Lavway reminds producers that FSA offers specially targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers and ranchers.
“Each year, a portion of FSA’s loan funds are set aside to lend to targeted underserved and beginning farmers and ranchers,” said SED Lavway. “Farming and ranching is a capital intensive business and FSA is committed to helping producers start and maintain their agricultural operations.”
During fiscal year 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018), Maine FSA obligated $4.74 million in loans to underserved borrowers and beginning farmers and ranchers.
USDA defines underserved applicants as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of the group without regard to their individual qualities. For farm loan program purposes, underserved groups are women, African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics and Asians and Pacific Islanders.
In order to qualify as a beginning farmer, the individual or entity must meet the eligibility requirements outlined for direct or guaranteed loans. Additionally, individuals and all entity members must have operated a farm for less than 10 years. Applicants must materially or substantially participate in the operation. For farm ownership purposes, the applicant must not own a farm greater than 30 percent of the average size farm in the county at the time of application. All direct farm ownership applicants must have participated in the business operations of a farm for at least three years out of the last 10 years prior to the date the application is submitted. If the applicant is an entity, all members must be related by blood or marriage and all entity members must be eligible beginning farmers.
Underserved or beginning farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank can apply for either FSA direct loans or guaranteed loans. Direct loans are made to applicants by FSA. Guaranteed loans are made by lending institutions who arrange for FSA to guarantee the loan. FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. The FSA guarantee allows lenders to make agricultural credit available to producers who do not meet the lender’s normal underwriting criteria.
The direct and guaranteed loan program offers two types of loans: farm ownership loans and farm operating loans.
Farm ownership loan funds may be used to purchase or enlarge a farm or ranch, purchase easements or rights of way needed in the farm’s operation, build or improve buildings such as a dwelling or barn, promote soil and water conservation and development and pay closing costs.
Farm operating loan funds may be used to purchase livestock, poultry, farm equipment, fertilizer and other materials necessary to operate a successful farm. Operating loan funds can also be used for family living expenses, refinancing debts under certain conditions, paying salaries for hired farm laborers, installing or improving water systems for home, livestock or irrigation use and other similar improvements.
Repayment terms for direct operating loans depend on the collateral securing the loan and usually run from one to seven years. Financing for direct farm ownership loans cannot exceed 40 years. Interest rates for direct loans are set periodically according to the Government’s cost of borrowing. Guaranteed loan terms and interest rates are set by the lender.
For more information on FSA’s farm loan programs and underserved and beginning farmer guidelines, please contact your local FSA office. To find your local FSA office, visit the USDA’s Service Center Locator webpage.
USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.
Contact: Marcia L Hall
Androscoggin-Sagadahoc County Farm Service Agency
Address: 254 Goddard Rd Lewiston, ME 04240