Ag News

Iowa FSA offices cope with pandemic challenges

IARN — Farm Service Agency offices in Iowa continue to cope with COVID-19 restrictions amid key looming deadlines.

Local county FSA offices remain closed throughout the state. They have been utilizing virtual formats for meetings, and dropboxes to accomplish other important business. Dan Wells is the executive director of the Farm Service Agency office in Adair County. He recently told KMA Radio that the inability to have face-to-face contact with producers regularly has made the job for FSA offices a little tougher.

“Now that the offices aren’t really open to the public, it’s more difficult and we just don’t have that contact with our producers like we’ve had in the past,” said Wells. “It is important to keep your records up to date. Don’t forget to stop by or give us a call to update your records. We’ve got dropboxes outside, so it’s always best to give us a call if you’ve got some personal documents that you want to drop off.”

Wells notes important crop insurance deadlines are rapidly approaching. March 15th is the final day for farmers to sign up for federal crop insurance programs such as ARC/PLC. He says that while many producers wait until the last minute to complete their sign up, early enrollment helps his office out tremendously.

“The sooner that you can make that decision, the better,” said Wells. “Here in Adair County, we’ve got over 2,000 producers that we have to service. It would be impossible for us to do that in the last week of sign-up. If you’re thinking about getting started into that, let’s go ahead and get started, get the contracts run and then if you change your mind before March 15th, you can come back to us, give us a call and we can make those changes, if you decide to go into a different program than what you initially did.”

Producers also have until February 12th to complete sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.