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Expiration Of Farm Bill Could Have Deep Impacts

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By Brandon Redmond

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Several significant changes will impact farmers and ranchers after the expiration of the 2008 farm bill. One significant change that both farmers and ranchers will likely notice is that the gross income relationship rules have been significantly changed.

"With the average gross income relationship and the rules being tightened down with how much you can make and how much you make on farm and off farm, now going down to the individual social security number, we have been sending out letters where people may not be in compliance," said Lance Phillips with the Farm Service Agency of Twin Falls County.

If you received a letter saying you owe money back, you need to go to your local office to fill out the FSA paperwork. Officials can assist you in filling out a form to get the matter taken care of.

"But the letters are pretty serious and we don't want people to take them casually because they do offset social security, IRS and some of your direct in countercyclical payments," said Lance Phillips.

Another significant change deals with disaster declarations.

"It's been a tough drought year. We've had some big storms. But the difference is we are now contiguous county in Twin Falls and we also have Cassia and Elko County that are considered primary disaster declaration areas. Which means that instead of a 50% loss, they would be required of having in the old program a 10% loss," said Lance Phillips.

One of the requirements is having insurance coverage on all of your crops. The deadline to buy the nap insurance is December 3rd.