USDA releases information-sharing system for ag agencies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new information-sharing system recently between the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency, so farmers only need to deliver acreage reports to one office.

The new processes are part of the USDA’s Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative, a news release reported. The enhanced collaboration network also includes participating private crop insurance agents and insurance companies.

When farmers or ranchers file at one location, information can be securely shared with all agencies to avoid unnecessary trips and duplication of paperwork.

Acreage reports include the acreage of specific crops, the size of the crops, irrigation plans, planting dates and whether the crop is new or a subsequent crop. The information is required to receive benefits from USDA programs and can also be pertinent information if a farm is sold down the line, said Jeanette Smith of the Strasbrug Farm Service Agency.

According to a press release from the USDA, more than 93 percent of all annually reported acres to the Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency are eligible for the common data reporting.

Smith added that farmers can also access their information online through the FSA’s website, including aerial maps of their plots at no charge.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com