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Tobacco paperwork almost due

Though most of a tobacco farmer’s time is spent raising the crop, he or she must remember to devote some time to the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) required paperwork as well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Though most of a tobacco farmer’s time is spent raising the crop, he or she must remember to devote some time to the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) required paperwork as well.

It is important to start on the paperwork early because of the amount of paperwork and the large number of farms that will be submitting it, says Jim Herrell, Gallia-Lawrence FSA county executive director.

There are approximately 200 tobacco farms in Lawrence County, a spokeswoman for the Gallia-Lawrence FSA said.

"Allow yourself some time," Herrell stated.

Waiting too long can have consequences.

"When the fields are dry and you are standing in line please do not blame us," he stated.

This year is the first official period in which two of the forms are required, Ohio FSA program specialist Rick Borland said.

All farmers growing burly tobacco must report how many acres are being used to grow it. If any is not reported by July 15, a fee will be charged. Also, all tobacco farms must report where the tobacco will be sold by Aug. 1. If this information is not submitted to the FSA, the farmer cannot receive a marketing card, which is necessary to sell the tobacco.

This information is necessary because burly tobacco is under a quota system, and because some farmers are selling to companies without going through warehouses as they have traditionally, Borland said.

"It’s just for us to see if (tobacco farmers) are keeping within regulations or not," he said.

As in years past, farmers also need to remember to submit a form MQ-38 stating the pesticides and chemicals used on the tobacco and that they were used according to the label’s recommendations.