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Contributor

HEL acres

I missed the boat last year in putting some borderline acres in this program last year. The new girl at FSA told me they would not qualify when in fact they will.

Question is if anyone has heard if more acres are going to become available this year?
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4 Replies
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Veteran Advisor

Re: HEL acres

What HEL program are you referring to? The gov determines if land is HEL or not, not the landowner. If you talking about CRP then yes there is going to be another sign up this year. So they say. I don't know how much there is room for under the acre cap
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Contributor

Re: HEL acres

I should have been more clear. The land did qualify for HEL but was not accepted as acres ran out late last fall. Just curious if anyone heard if more acres were coming available.
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Honored Advisor

Re: HEL acres

HEL is, as I learned it, a designation that FSA makes on acres of certain soild and slopes. HEL designation is not a program with payments. There can be limits on what you can do with it...difficult to include in waste app plan, for instance.

CRP is the prigram I think you are interested in. It has two different types of signups...continuous and general. The continuous is pretty much always available, if I remember right, but its scope is very limited.

CRP for most crop lands has rates determined on a county - by - county basis where we live. One county's rate may be much higher than another's.

There are also some sub-specialties of CRP, like CP-33, which establishes and managrs bobwhite quail habitat. I have one small farm where 150 feet around each field is enrolled. I have to mow 1/3 of the strip each year, and it was a 10-year commitment.

I don't think with crop prices where they were the last few years, CRP was getting much interest in most areas. It generally puts marginal,land out of production...and, of course, higher prices shifted many acres out of normally more marginal status. As prices for corn and beans slip, many acres will not be worth tilling again.

I wouldn't count on CRP to be ready anytime soon. I have been watching for a year now for notice, to enroll another entire farm, if possible. Then again, the rate has to be right. You will need a cropping history to show you did produce something there, so the program idles it.

There are requirements for periodic mowing, and you will only get to hay it if a bad-enough drought creates a real love cal emergency.
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Contributor

Re: HEL acres

Thank you for the replies. I am a beginning farmer and no expert. The farm I want to enroll does have crop history. I know with the HEL designation the payment rate is much higher and I have gone thru the trouble of measuring everything and it did receive the qualifying rating. I am contemplating whether to hold out for HEL signup or just go with the continuous at a lower rate.
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