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 17 is a major deadline for most crops.
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.
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
- Other information as required
Maps are one of the required items for filing an acreage report. Now, by logging into your farmers.gov profile, you can:
- View, print and export detailed farm records such as cropland, base acres, yields, CRP acres, land ownership details, and much more;
- View, print and export farm/tract maps that can be provided to lenders, chemical or fertilizer providers, and FSA for reporting acreage and crop insurance agents;
- Export common land unit (field) boundaries as ESRI shapefiles; and
- Import, save and edit ESRI shapefiles.
Through this self-service option, you do not have to wait for FSA to mail maps for acreage reporting or make a special trip to the office to pick up maps. To learn more, view our tutorial videos. If you don’t have a farmers.gov account, create one here.
If you have perennial forage crops, you have the option to report your acreage once, without having to report that acreage in subsequent years, as long as there are no applicable changes on your farm.
The perennial crop continuous certification process requires you to initially complete an acreage report certifying the perennial crop acreage. Perennial crops can include mixed forage, birdsfoot trefoil, chicory/radicchio, kochia (prostrata), lespedeza, perennial peanuts and perennial grass varieties. You can select the continuous certification option any time after the crop is certified. Once the continuous certification option is selected, the certified acreage will roll forward annually and does not require additional action on your part in subsequent years unless the acreage report changes.
Once you select continuous certification, then continuous certification is applicable to all fields on your farm for the specific crop, crop type and intended use. If continuous certification is selected by any producers sharing in the crop, then the continuous certification is appliable to fields in which the producer has a share for the specific crop, crop type and intended use.
You can opt out of continuous certification at any time. The continuous certification will terminate automatically if a change in the farming operation occurs.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
- June 21, 2023 News Release: USDA Reminds Producers to File Crop Acreage Reports by July 17, Use New Online Map Features on Farmers.gov
- June 29, 2022 Blog: Ask the Expert: Customer Farm Records Mapping Q&A with Gwen Uecker
- September 14, 2021 Blog: USDA Expands Farmers.gov to Include Farm Records
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