The 2014 Farm Bill re-established the applicability of the Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation provisions to crop insurance subsidies, but the Farm Bill did not change how these were implemented in conservation programs.
Producers, and any affiliated individuals or entities who participate in most programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Risk Management Agency (RMA) are required to comply with these provisions. Producers who are not in compliance with HELC and WC provisions are not eligible to receive benefits for most programs administered by FSA and NRCS. If a producer received program benefits and is later found to be non-compliant, the producer may be required to refund all benefits received and/or may be assessed a penalty.
Compliance with HELC and WC Provisions
To comply with the HELC and WC provisions, producers must fill out and sign form AD-1026 certifying they will not:
- Plant or produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without following an NRCS approved conservation plan or system;
- Plant or produce an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland; or
- Convert a wetland which makes the production of an agricultural commodity possible.
In addition, producers planning to conduct activities that may affect their HEL or WC compliance, for example removing fence rows, conducting drainage activities, or combining fields, must notify FSA by filing form AD-1026. FSA will notify NRCS, and NRCS will then provide highly erodible land or wetland technical evaluations and issue determinations if needed.
For More Information
Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC):
Marlon Winger, State Agronomist
Wetland Compliance (WC):
Trisha Cracroft, Biologist