Based on changes mandated through the 2014 Farm Bill, producers are now required to have a completed and signed Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026) on file with the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
The farm law relinked highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance with eligibility for premium support paid under the federal crop insurance program.
Many FSA and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) programs also have this requirement, and most producers should already have an AD-1026 on file. If so, no action is needed as long as the answers from the previous form have not changed. Once filed, an AD-1026 provides continuous certification until a change is made.
If producers have not filed the AD-1026, they must do so by June 1, 2015. When a grower completes the AD-1026, FSA and NRCS staff will outline any additional actions that may be required for compliance with the provisions.
It is anticipated that USDA will issue an interim rule early next year regarding conservation compliance as it relates to the federal crop insurance program.
More detailed information – which includes the AD-1026 form, a FAQ sheet and a webinar – is available online at the Farm Service Agency website.