Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Sign-up is now available for USDA pilot planting project

By Pamela J. Stahlke

Date Modified: 05/30/2012 1:43 PM

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The Planting Transferability Pilot Project permits producers to plant approved fruits and vegetables for processing on farm base acres.

This pilot program is administered by the Farm Service Agency and permits the planting of cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkins, snap beans, sweet corn and tomatoes for processing on approved base acres.

For the 2012 crop year, Minnesota has 34,000 acres approved for participation in PTPP.

Historically, producers were prohibited from planting fruits or vegetables on base acres enrolled in the Direct and Counter Cyclical and Average Crop Revenue Election programs.

PTPP offers an opportunity for producers to plant an approved crop on base acres without being in violation of the terms and conditions of their DCP and/or ACRE contracts. Base acres on the farm will be reduced by an acre for each acre planted under PTPP. However, this is only a temporary reduction that will expire at the end of the crop year. At that time the base acres reduced will be restored to the farm.

To be eligible for PTPP, producers must grow any combination of the approved crops listed above. In addition, they must provide the FSA office with a copy of the contract between the producer and the processing plant. Furthermore, enrollees in PTPP must agree to produce the crop as part of a program of crop rotation that will achieve agronomic, pest and disease management benefits.

Don't miss out on a great opportunity to diversify your crop production.

Sign-up for PTPP must be completed by March 1 and the USDA will not accept any late filed applications! To enroll, producers must timely file a valid growing contract and completed CCC-749 (PTPP application) with FSA.

The CCC-749 and/or further information about this program can be obtained at your local FSA office or online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.

Stahlke is the Winona County Farm Service Agency county executive director.