U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that farmers and ranchers filing crop acreage reports will now be able to submit common information to be shared electronically with other Farm Service Agency locations or their insurance provider.
This new process is part of the USDA Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI). This interagency collaboration also includes participating private crop insurance agents and insurance companies, all working to streamline the information collected from farmers and ranchers who participate in USDA programs.
“If you file your report at one location, the data that’s important to both FSA and RMA will be securely and electronically shared with the other location,” said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. “This will avoid redundant and duplicative reporting, and we expect this to save farmers and ranchers time.”
“Accuracy in crop reporting is a key component for crop insurance, because an error in this information can affect premiums or claims. This is going to greatly improve efficiencies and reduce mistakes,” said RMA Administrator Brandon Willis.
The USDA has been working to address the crop reporting process since 2009. Many producers have expressed frustration with submitting the same information to multiple locations. Three years ago the USDA consolidated deadlines to 15 dates, down from 54, and now the organization is expecting this new improvement to further streamline the process.
Ninety-three percent of reported acres are eligible for common data reporting, with more crops being added. Growers will still need to visit their locations to sign and validate reports, complete maps, or provide program-specific information, but the common data used on the first-filed acreage report will be available for completion of the second report. The USDA plans to continue to build on this framework and improve efficiencies in the future.
Dolcini also reminds growers that their FSA information can now be accessed through their home computer. “You can see your field boundaries, images of your farm, conservation status, operator and owner information and much more,” said Dolcini. Contact your local FSA office to enroll.