February 22, 2005

Delegation Urges Idaho Producers to Sign-up for New Farm Programs

Farm Bill Sign-up Deadline Quickly Approaching

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho's Congressional Delegation is urging Idaho producers to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to ensure their eligibility for programs under the 2002 Farm Bill. The first deadline, April 1, is when producers must have updated their records with the FSA and agreed to new base acres and yields. The second deadline, June 1, is when producers must have completed all of their paperwork."American agriculture is in the middle of very challenging times," said Senator Craig, a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. "Foreign competition, the economy, extreme weather, and continued trade differences are major factors to point to. With this in mind, I strongly encourage Idaho's farmers and ranchers to take the time to learn and use the tools available to them through the Farm Service Agency."Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, "With the many changes that have occurred under the new farm bill, it is important that farmers contact their local FSA office to fully understand those changes. The deadline for sign-up is fast approaching for producers, and I encourage farmers who haven't already contacted their local FSA office to do so soon.""I want to encourage Idaho's agriculture producers to get in touch with their local Farm Service Agency office immediately to ensure their eligibility for federal farm programs," said 2nd District Representative Mike Simpson. "These programs bring millions of dollars each year into Idaho's economy and were enacted to help stabilize the farm economy. Idaho FSA Director Wayne Hammon and his staff are doing a great job getting producers signed-up but have indicated there are still many producers who have not yet contacted them. We're hoping they'll pick up the phone and give FSA a call."1st District Congressman C.L. "Butch" Otter said, "Those of us in the congressional delegation worked hard with Idaho's commodity groups to get as many of their programs as possible included in the Farm Bill. That work bore fruit when the bill was approved last year. But it's worth nothing unless producers get enrolled with the Farm Service Agency. That's the only way they'll be able to take advantage of these programs designed to level out some of the financial peaks and valleys for the world's most efficient agriculture industry."The 2002 Farm Bill provides an additional $7.4 billion (average) per year in agricultural spending above the existing agriculture baseline over the next six years (2002-2007). The bill provides substantial increases in funding for commodity, conservation, trade, nutrition, renewable energy, and rural development programs within the United States Department of Agriculture to stabilize the agriculture economy and bring new opportunities to rural communities.To find out where your local FSA office is located and for contact information, please visit: # # # # #