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Watermelon Field

One of the many watermelons grown at Clemson University's Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville.

Nominations open for county committee elections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency encourages all farmers, ranchers and FSA program participants to take part in the Orangeburg County Committee election nomination process.

FSA’s county committees are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and local administration of federal farm programs.

Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties. Committee members are accountable to the secretary of agriculture. If elected, members become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery process.

A county committee is composed of three to 11 elected members from local administrative areas. Each member serves a three-year term. One-third of the seats on these committees are open for election each year.

County committees may have an appointed adviser to further represent the local interests of underserved farmers and ranchers. Underserved producers are beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers and landowners and/or operators who have limited resources.

All nomination forms for the 2019 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA service center by Aug. 1, 2019. For more information on FSA county committee elections and appointments, refer to the FSA fact sheet: Eligibility to Vote and Hold Office as a COC Member available online at: fsa.usda.gov/elections.

2019 acreage reporting dates

In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Orangeburg County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline.

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Orangeburg County:

July 15 -- Corn, cotton, soybeans, peanuts and perennial forage

Aug. 15 -- Tomatoes (Planted 7/1-7/15)

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

  • If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.
  • If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.
  • If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July 15th.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, contact the Orangeburg County FSA office at 803-534-2409.

Watermelon field day July 11

A watermelon field day will be held at the Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville on Thursday, July 11.

The field day will begin with registration at 8 a.m. at the office complex at EREC.

For more information or directions, contact EREC - 803-284-3343 Ext. 221 or the South Carolina Department of Agriculture Kyle Tisdale - 803-734-0467.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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