Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
The deadline to certify spring-seeded crops is July 15. Certification is required to meet eligibility requirements for government farm programs, said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Both traditional row crops such as corn, cotton, grain sorghum, soybeans and rice as well as commercial vegetables should be certified, he said. This includes okra, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, southern peas and sweet potatoes. Producers must report each of their crops, their intended use, acreages and planting dates.
Failure to certify makes participation in disaster programs nearly impossible as many Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs require that all cropland on a farm be certified to earn FSA benefits. In some cases, vegetable producers have gone to their local FSA offices to sign up for a disaster program only to learn that no record exists of their crop being planted because of lack of certification, he said.
All crops planted by July 15 must be certified by that date. If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting was completed. If the producer acquires additional acreage after the reporting date, that acreage must be reported within 30 calendar days after purchase or acquisition.
If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of cover only, green manure, left standing or seed, then the acreage must also be reported by July 15, he said.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the applicable dates or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting begins.
Arkansas producers who could not plant because of excessive rains, high winds or flooding or who planted crops that failed should file a notice of loss within 15 calendar days or when the loss becomes apparent, said Dr. English.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.