The deadlines to apply for two U. S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency programs are right around the corner, and the Hill County director said he hopes local farmers and ranchers can get their applications completed.
The deadline to apply for the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program, known as DCP, and the permanent disaster program Supplemental Revenue Enhancement Program, known as SURE, is Friday, June 1.
FSA Hill County Executive Director Mike Zook said Hill County is ahead of most of the state in DCP applications, with work on 88 percent of the eligible contracts starting last Friday.
"We'd hoped to have this process completed by now, and we are well ahead of many counties in the state, but the deadline for all signatures is June 1st, ” he said. “Hopefully, farmers have completed seeding so they can now get their applications completed before that date. ”
DCP, or variations of the program, has been a mainstay of the Farm Bill and farm program benefits delivery to agricultural producers for decades, a release from the Hill County FSA office said, adding that this year the Farm Bill expires, and the next version is the source of much discussion in Congress.
While it remains to be seen whether DCP or something like it will be available to farmers next year, support has lessened for the program over the past few years because of budget constraints and strong agricultural commodity prices, the release said.
That deadline also is approaching for the 2010 SURE program, which compensates agricultural producers who suffered losses because of natural disasters in that year.
"2010 was such a good year for the majority of Hill County producers that the number of people qualifying for payments has been relatively low; still, we'd encourage everyone who thinks they might be eligible to contact the office and sign an application prior to June 1st, 2012," Zook said.