Monday, June 20, 2011

USDA pt. 2

This blog's most popular post is titled  "Letter to the USDA" on June 15 (See the sidebar!).  Due to it's extreme popularity some follow-up is required.  Despite my humorous under-tone in that initial post, I must regrettably inform you that I spoke on the phone with a very knowledgeable man at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office.  He guided Amy and I through the letter which was sent out on June 3 informing us we had thirty days to dispute the government's HEL (Highly Erodible Land) distinction that the USDA was placing on our property.

At this point, some background is necessary.  Our 5.61 acres is carved out of the original 160 acre Lohmeier homestead that was established back in 1889.  Within that 5.61 acres are 2.94 acres (yes, the government has diced up farmland down to that level of exactness) which are currently growing corn.  That contract was set up before we purchased the house and we signed a document allowing the growth for the year 2011.  It is not our intent in the future to maintain that contract but for now it is in place.  Our 2.94 acres was part of 90+ acres that was in a government conservation program to eliminate the HEL distinction.  When our 5.61 acres were carved out of the Lohmeier land, the letter we received informing us we were HEL was simply a courtesy notification on the government's part.  Confused yet?

So I asked the man, "What do we need to do at this time?
His answer, "you don't need to do nothin'".
Ignoring his grammar choices I responded with, "....Nothing? Why?"

Because we will receive a letter in the future detailing the conservation plan which is already in place, but we can not receive this plan until the required 30 days after June 3 have passed informing us of our HEL land.  (Why, if I just called in, do we need to wait...? In case we choose to dispute it before July 3?)

At which point we either adhere to this plan, request to make our own, or plant grass seed (which is the plan) and it will eliminate the HEL distinction swiftly.

Aren't you glad I followed up on this?  :)
All this talk about corn, I had to include a picture of some of our 2.94 acres of corn.

1 comment:

  1. To be honest, the whole thing just sounds like another of the government's land control/confiscation schemes.