INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) Julia A. Wickard recently issued a reminder for landowners and operators that in order to receive payments from USDA, compliance with Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions are required.
Farmers with HEL determined soils are reminded of tillage, crop residue and rotation requirements as specified in their conservation plan. Producers should also notify FSA prior to conducting land clearing or drainage projects to insure compliance.
"If you are planning on installing new tile or grading wet spots in a field, contact your local FSA County office before starting any work," Wickard said. "Also, if you intend to clear any trees to create new cropland, these areas will need to be reviewed to ensure any work will not jeopardize your eligibility for benefits."
Landowners and operators can complete form AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification to determine whether a referral to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is necessary.
"Something as simple as clearing a fence row or converting a pasture into cropland could result in losing USDA benefits," Wickard said.
For more information on Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions, contact a FSA County Office or log on to the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov.