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FSA Forms to Have on File and Why

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides a wide range of programs and services for farmers, such as farm loans, disaster relief programs, and conservation programs. The presence of local county offices further helps FSA reach and serve farmers across the country. Even so, there are many farmers who do not yet have a connection to their designated local office. At RAFI-USA, we especially hear from farmers that produce on a small or diversified scale, women farmers, beginning farmers, or farmers of color that they don’t always feel like FSA programs or FSA staff serve their particular needs and interests. 

Benefits of an Active FSA Record

Although these concerns raise valid questions and critiques about how USDA assistance can better support the full diversity of U.S. farmers, it’s still advantageous for farmers to establish connections with their local FSA office, acquire a farm number, and have their farm information on file. 

  • You will receive the latest updates on FSA programs and services that are available in your county.
  • When you have a farm number and basic FSA forms on file, you become eligible to apply for other USDA agency programs such as EQIP. Additionally, this means you will have a more streamlined application process for any emergency relief programs that become available after a natural disaster.
  • In the case of CCC-860, filling out this form means you are marked eligible in FSA’s system for certain program benefits, like higher payment rates, dedicated pools of funding, and automatic enrollment in basic NAP coverage. (NAP is a type of financial disaster assistance for eligible crops.)
  • Being eligible to serve on your FSA county committee.

Breakdown of Important FSA Forms

Here’s a breakdown of some of the basic FSA forms. Contact your FSA office and ask if your FSA Farm Record is “up to date” or “active” and if all the following forms are on record for the fiscal year.

  • CCC-941, Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information
    • This is a form that asks farmers to certify whether the average adjusted gross income of the farmer or business was less than $900,000 in a particular year. Complete annually.
    • Why: This form is a basic eligibility check for USDA. Farmers who make more than $900,000 in adjusted gross income are not eligible for most USDA assistance.
  • CCC-902I or 902E, Farm Operating Plan for an Individual (or Entity for 902E)
    • This form asks you to report information about various aspects of your operation: capital, land, equipment, management, etc. Complete annually.
    • Why: Some programs may require this form as a part of the application. Another benefit is FSA and USDA will know what commodities you’re producing and can send you commodity-specific information and program updates.
  • AD-1026, Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Certification
    • This form certifies that a farmer will not 1) produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without a conservation system; 2) plant on a converted wetland; or 3) convert a wetland for agricultural production. This form should only need to be completed once unless there are any changes on at-risk land or a new section of land is added.
    • Why: This form is a basic eligibility check for USDA. Program and loan dollars cannot be used for agricultural production on at-risk land.
  • CCC-860, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning Farmer, and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification
    • This form is used for farmers to identify themselves as belonging to one of the following USDA-defined groups. Farmers only need to complete this form once.
      • Socially Disadvantaged: groups that have been subject to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice
        • Women
        • American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asians or Asian Americans, Black or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics
      • Limited Resource: a farmer whose direct or indirect gross farm sales do not exceed a certain amount over a certain period of years AND whose total household income is at or below the national poverty level for a family of four, or less than 50% of county median household income is each of the previous two years. Farmers can use an online self-determination tool to see if they meet this designation.
      • Beginning: farmer has not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years.
      • Veteran: farmer has served in the Armed Forces and either 1) has operated a farm for less than 10 years or 2) is a veteran who first obtained veteran status in the last 10 years.
    • Why: Filling out this form means you are marked eligible in FSA’s system for certain program benefits, like higher payment rates, dedicated pools of funding, and automatic enrollment in basic NAP coverage. (NAP is a type of financial disaster assistance for eligible crops.)
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