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Arkansas farmers should certify spring crops

Posted: July 6, 2013 at 3 p.m.

PINE BLUFF — Farmers need to certify crops planted in the spring by July 15 in order to be eligible for disaster programs, according to the head of the small farm program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Crops that should be certified include corn, cotton, grain sorghum, soybeans and rice. Commercial vegetables, including okra, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, southern peas and sweet potatoes should be certified, too.

Henry English, who directs the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, says most row crop producers know to certify their crops, but many fail to do so on time.

Other farmers who may have added commercial vegetables to their operations may not certify their vegetables thinking that vegetable crops do not need to be certified, but English says they do.

Many Farm Service Agency programs require that cropland on a farm be certified to earn FSA benefits.

And English said failing to certify crops makes participation in disaster programs nearly impossible.

Some of the programs that require acreage reporting for participation include the Non-insured Assistance Program, Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, Direct and Counter-cyclical Program and the Conservation Reserve Program.

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