Crop acreage reports filed with USDA document the crops grown on your farm or ranch and their intended uses. You must file timely acreage reports to be eligible for many USDA programs.
Each year, USDA agencies collect data relating to crops through crop acreage reports. If you want to participate in many USDA programs, including crop insurance, safety net, and disaster assistance programs, you must file timely acreage reports to remain eligible for program benefits. Filing an accurate and timely acreage report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planted acreage, can prevent the loss of benefits.
Deadlines to file crop acreage reports vary by crop and by state and county.
Farm Service Agency staff at your local USDA Service Center can help by providing you with maps and acreage reporting deadlines by crop for your county. Your crop insurance agent can assist you with reporting information necessary for crop insurance benefits.
July 15 is a major deadline for most crops. Due to the pandemic, FSA has implemented acreage reporting flexibilities, including:
- Waiving the late fee for 30 days for all remaining acreage reporting dates for the 2020 crop year (including the July 15 deadline).
How Crop Acreage Reporting Works
To file a crop acreage report, you will need to provide:
- crop and crop type or variety;
- intended use of the crop;
- number of acres of the crop;
- map with approximate boundaries for the crop;
- planting date(s);
- planting pattern, when applicable;
- producer shares;
- irrigation practice(s);
- acreage prevented from planting, when applicable; and
- other information as required.
FSA is working with producers to file timely acreage reports by phone, email, online tools, and virtual meetings. Due to the pandemic, some FSA offices are open for in-person appointments, but you must call first to make an appointment.
Many FSA offices are using Microsoft Teams software to virtually meet with producers to review maps and documents for certification. Producers who want to schedule a virtual appointment can download the Microsoft Teams app on their smart phone or tablet and call the FSA office for an appointment. You may also use Microsoft Teams from your personal computer without downloading software.
County offices can provide producers with maps along with instructions for completing and returning the maps through either mail, email, or through commercially available free and secure online tools such as Box for file sharing and OneSpan for eSignature solutions. After planting is complete, producers should return completed maps and the acreage reporting sheet by the applicable deadline.
Acreage reports for approved crops are electronically shared between FSA and Risk Management Agency, which eliminates the need for duplicate entry of the same acreage reporting information. However, you must still contact both FSA and your crop insurance agent to complete program-specific information, validate the common information, complete maps, and sign your acreage reports.
Crop Acreage Reporting Details
How are crop acreage reports used?
The data collection from crop acreage reports is used to:
- determine compliance with USDA farm programs,
- determine the amount of insurance provided and the premium charged,
- verify compliance with Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation provisions,
- inform USDA agency program decisions,
- determine producer eligibility for commodity loans and loan deficiency payments, and
- determine crop and producer eligibility for participation in certain USDA programs.
What happens if the deadline for crop acreage reporting has passed for my county? Can I still file?
Yes. Acreage reports can be filed up to a year after the deadline has passed. Having an acreage report on file helps ensure eligibility for payments and disaster assistance, especially unforeseen future disasters or program payment eligibility. Sometimes program or payment eligibility decisions or application deadlines extend beyond the final date when a late-filed acreage report can be filed. In this case, electing not to file and paying a fee could be final with regard to the potential eligibility of those acres and producers sharing in the acres.
Typically, producers who file late pay a fee. Even if there is no program payment that might be at issue when an acreage report could be filed or filed late with a fee, we encourage producers to file an acreage report and remit the late-file fee rather than choose not to report the acreage.
Due to the pandemic, FSA has implemented acreage reporting flexibilities. FSA will waive the late fee for 30 days for all remaining acreage reporting dates for the 2020 crop year (including the July 15 deadline).
Is there a timeline for when I should report prevented planted and failed acres?
Many programs require that prevented planted and failed acres be reported within 15 days of the disaster. However, due to the pandemic, FSA is providing additional flexibilities for producers to file on acres with failed crops or crops that were prevented from planting because of extreme weather events.
For insured crops, producers who timely filed a prevented planted claim with the reinsurance company but filed a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) form after the deadline will be considered timely filed for FSA purposes. For uninsured crops, producers may start a Notice of Loss by calling their FSA county office.
I'm a beginning farmer. How do I report crop acres my first year?
If this is your first year farming a tract of land, make sure you have a farm number, that your tract information is current, and that you are in FSA’s system.
To get a farm number, bring proof of identity, a copy of your deed or leasing documents, and any entity documentation for your business (limited partnership, estate, or trust documents) to your local USDA Service Center. We're here to help you get started!
How often do I need to report my crop acres?
Producers must generally certify acreage reports after each planting as some crops have multiple plantings and each planting must be reported.
Some crops are eligible for continuous certification. This means after a crop is reported once, the certification remains in effect. Check with your local USDA Service Center's FSA office to see if your crops are eligible for continuous certification.
I have a small operation. Do I still need to report crop acres?
FSA works with farms and ranches of all sizes. Small farmers should still report their acreage because they may be eligible for assistance in the event of a natural disaster.
Find Your Local Service Center
We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the pandemic. Some USDA offices are beginning to reopen to limited visitors by appointment only. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to ﬁnd your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.
Visit the Risk Management Agency website to ﬁnd a regional or compliance office or to ﬁnd an insurance agent near you.