The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency is reminding farmers and ranchers who participate in FSA programs to plan accordingly in the 2014 fiscal year for automatic spending reductions known as sequestration.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates that federal agencies implement automatic annual reductions to discretionary and mandatory spending limits. For mandatory programs, the sequestration rate is 7.2 percent. The FSA is implementing sequestration for the following programs: 2013 direct and counter-cyclical payments; the 2013 Average Crop Revenue Election Program; the 2011 and 2012 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program; the Dairy Indemnity Payment Program; economic adjustment assistance for upland cotton; loan deficiency payments; marketing assistance loans; the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program; sugar loans; storage and handling; and the Tobacco Transition Payment Program.
Conservation Reserve Program payments are specifically exempt by statute from sequestration and will not be reduced.
“These sequester percentages reflect current-law estimates; however, with the continuing budget uncertainty, Congress still may adjust the exact percentage reduction,” said FSA Administrator Juan M. Garcia. “At this time, FSA is required to implement the sequester reductions. Due to the expiration of the Farm Bill on Sept. 30, FSA does not have the flexibility to cover these payment reductions in the same manner as in Fiscal Year 2013. FSA will provide notification as early as practicable on the specific payment reductions.”
Information about FSA programs is available from local USDA Service Centers and at fsa.usda.gov.