NB_190_19_10 - NB 190-19-10 ECS – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Division of Tracts by Physical Location
NB 190-19-10 ECS – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Division of Tracts by Physical Location
National Bulletin: 190-19-10    Date: May 6, 2019
Subject: ECS – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Division of Tracts by Physical Location

Purpose.  To notify NRCS field offices of FSA plans to split tracts and their associated fields by physical location.    
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2019
Background.  The 2018 Farm Bill requires FSA to make payments for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC-CO) program to be based on physical location. Other FSA programs, including the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), also determine eligibility and benefits based on physical location. Currently, procedures for FSA farm records allow a tract of land to extend into multiple counties and remain a single tract. This can result in either too many or not enough acres eligible to earn certain USDA-FSA benefits.

To comply with statutory requirements, and for consistency in administering programs, FSA has made the decision to divide tracts and associated fields and common land units (CLUs) by physical location. Tracts and their associated fields will no longer extend into a neighboring county. Tracts and CLUs with existing highly erodible land (HEL) or wetland determinations that cross a county boundary will be updated by FSA as discussed in the following paragraph to comply with the new FSA policy.
Explanation.  CLUs with existing HEL determinations that must now be split by the county boundaries are not considered new “fields” requiring new HEL determinations as defined in 7 CFR Part 12. No new AD-1026 or copies of existing AD-1026 will be issued to NRCS for HEL determinations. Each resulting CLU will take on the existing HEL determination for the field already determined as defined by 7 CFR Part 12. Any applicable wetland determinations will be recorded to the applicable CLU in the wetland point layer. Tract records HEL determinations and wetland determinations will be updated accordingly for the newly created tracts.

Any existing NRCS-CPA-026 forms for the tract, prior to the county line split, will be photocopied with a pen and ink change for the newly created tract number for each new tract folder.

FSA county offices will notify owners and operators of the results of any completed reconstitutions.

County offices will also notify NRCS of the resulting fields and tracts once the reconstitution is completed. A courtesy copy of NRCS-CPA-026s, with updated tract numbers and field numbers, along with old map and new map identifying newly created tracts and CLUs, with updated HEL and wetland determinations, will be provided to NRCS. NRCS will continue to follow existing HEL determination policy for all other field splits, combinations or boundary changes other than those affected by this FSA physical location related activity.
Contact.  Questions about this process can be directed to Jason Outlaw, national leader for wetland and highly erodible land conservation, at (202) 720-7838 jason.outlaw@wdc.usda.gov.


Deputy Chief for Science and Technology


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