USDA announces planting transferability pilot project

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

SPRINGFIELD (Feb. 9. 2010) -- Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Illinois, announced today that the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Planting Transferability Pilot Project (PTPP) permits Illinois producers to plant approved vegetables for processing on base acres under the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) or Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE). Eligible producers have until March 1, 2010 to sign up for the PTPP program. USDA will not accept any late filed applications.

"PTPP offers producers the opportunity to diversity their crop production and better use their base acres. This project supports state farmers with additional sources of revenue and the production of healthy fruits and vegetables," said Giamanco, Illinois FSA State Executive Director.

PTPP allows producers to plant approved fruits or vegetables for processing on a farm's base acres. Approved plantings include cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkin, snap beans, sweet corn or tomatoes. Without the PTPP, planting these crops on base acres would be prohibited. Base acres on a farm will be temporarily reduced each year on an acre-for-acre basis, for each base acres planted with an approved fruit or vegetable on that farm. Illinois has 9,000 acres approve for PTPP in 2010.

Eligible participants must agree to produce one of the approved crops for processing and to provide the county FSA office with a copy of the contract between the producer and processing plant. Participants must agree to produce the crop as part of a program of crop rotation on the farm to achieve agronomic, pest and disease management benefits, and to provide dispotition evidence of the crop. Participants must complete form CCC-749, which is available at the county office or online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov and file it with their county FSA office.

For more information on PTPP or other farm programs, visit your local FSA county office or the Farm Service Agency Web site at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.