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News Release

Farmers Encouraged to Start Planning for Next Year

Jeremy J. Fowler, Public Affairs Specialist, NRCS, N.H.

Local produce from Sanborn Hope Farm sits ready for sale at the Rochester, N.H. Farmer's Market August 3, 2021.  Planning is a vital to success in agricultural production and the USDA in New Hampshire encourages establishing and updating farm records with FSA and conservation plans with NRCS early i

DOVER, N.H. August 23, 2021 – There is one thing that is consistent with farming and forestry: forward thinking. Planning for the next year, or next few years, is a critical step of agricultural production.

     Producers planning their next cycle of crops on fields or in high tunnels, or grazers changing their pastures rarely wait until the calendar year begins, and any forester will tell you that looking further ahead is necessary for the health and productivity of your stands.

     The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging farmers and local nonindustrial private forest landowners to start the planning process now to ensure success as the agency begins transition to the next fiscal year. NRCS is anticipating an initial signup deadline for programs before November of the new fiscal year.

     The government fiscal year starts October 1st and continues through September 30th annually.

     “While crop years and the government’s fiscal year are not in perfect alignment for most agricultural producers, it is important to be ready with a plan early,” said Becky Ross, NRCS State Conservationist for New Hampshire. “By ensuring your farm records and conservation plans are established and up to date, producers can save a lot of time during those hectic months.  Generally, we notice that the most impactful financial-assistance recipients are those who are ready with an established and updated conservation plan.”

     Earlier signups lead to earlier selections for funding and allow for a full field season to implement funded conservation practices, starting as early as the following spring.

     Establishing farm records with the FSA is a necessary step to be eligible for USDA financial assistance programs through FSA or NRCS. By registering your farm with the FSA, producers will have access to Farm Bill programs in place to support their operations – including conservation programs offered through NRCS.

     “Waiting until the next calendar year to establish or update your conservation plan can be disadvantageous to the producer,” said Ross. “By having a conservation plan in place or updated based on your current operation, producers can more readily apply for financial assistance programs. It ultimately makes the process much more fluid.”

     Assistance is only a phone call away. NRCS and FSA staff are ready to answer your questions, work to ensure your success with USDA Farm Bill programs, and address conservation concerns on your land.

Daimon Meeh (right), State Grazing Specialist for NRCS in N.H. meets with Joyce Brady (left), an agricultural producer at the CJEJ Farm to provide technical assistance in developing paddock layouts and the future use of automated gates at the farm in Columbia, N.H. August 27, 2020.  The USDA in New

     With new technology in place, many required documents can now be signed virtually, right from a smart phone or computer, significantly reducing mailing delays and trips to the local service center. This helps keeps producers where they need to be – in the field and on the farm.

     You can find your local service center on the USDA’s website here:
     The NRCS is expected to announce program application deadlines for fiscal year 2022 by the end of September 2021, although NRCS accepts program applications on a continuous basis.

     For more information on NRCS Farm Bill programs, you can visit the NRCS, New Hampshire website here:

     For more information about registering your farm records with FSA, you can visit the USDA’s New Farmers site here: or contact your local USDA service center.

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