By Dr. Paul Mitchell, UW-Madison
Remember the big rain events in 2018, like the 15 inches that fell in south central Wisconsin? Remember the wet start to 2019 and the late and snowy harvest of 2019? Wisconsin farmers who suffered quality losses for grain or forage crops in 2019 or 2018 from disasters like excessive moisture, flooding or snowstorms may be eligible for Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) payments from the USDA Farm Service Agency. The deadline for applications is March 5, 2021, so farmers need to move quickly to submit an application if you suffered losses.
For grains, farmers need settlement sheets or grading documents that show the impacts of eligible disasters on test weights, foreign matter or other measures of quality that lead to discounts. For forage (hay or silage), farmers need TDN measures for their production in the affected year and the three previous years. Those that have historical TDN data need to show a 5% or larger decrease in quality compared to their historical average to trigger QLA payments. Those without historical data can use the county average quality for comparison but have an additional discount factor applied.
There are additional eligibility and verification requirements so farmers with quality losses for grain or forage in 2018 and/or 2019 should seek more information. See the FSA website https://www.farmers.gov/quality-loss or contact your county FSA office to learn more about QLA and additional eligibility and documentation requirements.