NB_300_19_19 - NB 300-19-19 LTP – Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) FY 2019 Implementation
NB 300-19-19 LTP – Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) FY 2019 Implementation
National Bulletin: 300-19-19 Date: April 1, 2019
Subject: LTP – Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) FY 2019 Implementation


   
 
Purpose.  To provide State conservationists (STCs) with the guidance to administer AMA during the remainder of FY 2019.   
 
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2019
 
Background.  FY 2019 AMA funds were distributed to States on November 8, 2018. At that time, AMA States were advised to continue to provide any AMA-related conservation assistance, such as survey and design, field certification of implemented practices, and processing of payments for practices for prior fiscal year contracts.
 
Explanation.  AMA changes for FY 2019:

• New Veteran Farmer or Rancher (VFR) Definition
• “Has not operated a farm or ranch or … has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years” or who first obtained status as a veteran “during the most recent 10-year period”
• Change has been incorporated in the revised NRCS-CPA-1200
• Guidance sheet attached (attachment A)
• Revised NRCS-CPA-1200 application dated January 2019 (attachment B)
• New CCC-941 adjusted gross income (AGI) form

The following actions were completed with the released ProTracts build on March 7, 2019:

• Migration of ranking tools and subaccounts from AMA 2014 to AMA 2018
• Migration of payment schedules from AMA 2014 to AMA 2018
• Changed the status of all approved applications back to preapproved
• Migration all pending, eligible, and preapproved applications from AMA 2014 to AMA 2018 (including participant information, ranking, and uploaded toolkit contract)

Signup Announcements and Batching

STCs are to continue to advertise AMA program opportunities for FY 2019 funding following the guidance provided in National Instruction 440-306, “Guidance for Implementing Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) and Environmental Quality Incentives Programs.”

Availability of AMA Funds

The FY 2019 allocation of AMA financial assistance (FA) funds to States is complete. For State distribution of general FA, refer to National Bulletin 300-19-5, dated November 8, 2018.

FY 2019 FA funds have been reallocated from AMA 2014 to AMA 2018. States can distribute their FA funds down to their individual subaccounts.

Applications

• Applications Received After the Release of the New NRCS-CPA-1200 (dated January 2019)
a) Use the NRCS-CPA-1200 that is attached to this bulletin. Do not use the NRCS-CPA-1200 in ProTracts. Notification will be sent when the corrected version is available in ProTracts.
• Applications Received Before the Release of the New NRCS-CPA-1200 (dated January 2019)
a) Are not required to sign a new NRCS-CPA-1200 application.
b) Any existing application where the applicant self-certified as a veteran farmer or rancher must recertify based on the new definition.

Eligibility

Farm Service Agency (FSA) is currently accepting and processing “Average Adjusted Gross Income Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information (AGI)” forms (CCC-941). ProTracts is able to read FY 2019 AGI eligibility.

The following items must be verified and documented in the case file by NRCS prior to obligating any new contracts:
• The participant has submitted a completed Form CCC-941, “Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information,” and self-certified that he or she meets the AGI provisions.
• States must verify in the Subsidiary Eligibility System that the participant’s AGI status has not been set to any of the ineligible categories.

States must also verify in the Subsidiary Eligibility System that the participant AGI status has not been set to any of the ineligible categories prior to modifying or issuing payments for all existing contracts. If a participant is later determined to not meet the AGI requirements, the contract must be terminated, and all improper payments made must be collected.

AGI forms dated January 24, 2019, are available on eForms. FSA will accept either version of the AGI form signed as of October 1, 2018, meaning updating signatures on the newest form is not required.
Funds Assessment

A funds assessment will be conducted for FY 2019. Further information and guidance will be issued in a national bulletin.   
 
Contact.  If you have questions, please submit the questions through your State office to the FAPD SharePoint site under “Program Questions” at https://usdagcc.sharepoint.com/sites/nrcs_programs/fapd/Lists/ProgramQuestions/Program%20Questions.aspx?viewpath=%2Fsites%2Fnrcs_programs%2Ffapd%2FLists%2FProgramQuestions%2FProgram%20Questions.aspx
 
 

 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs

 
 

Attachment A – VFR Guidance

Attachment B – Form NRCS-CPA-1200

[NB_300_19_19 - ]