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USDA portal allows ag producers conservation help online

Farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners can now do business with U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through a new online portal.

With the launch of Conservation Client Gateway, producers will have the ability to work with conservation planners online to access Farm Bill programs, request assistance and track payments for their conservation activities.

Conservation Client Gateway enables farmers, ranchers and private landowners to securely:

• Request NRCS technical and financial assistance;

• Review and sign conservation plans and practice schedules;

• Complete and sign an application for a conservation program;

• Review, sign and submit contracts and appendices for conservation programs;

• Document completed practices and request certification of completed practices;

• Request and track payments for conservation programs; and

• Store and retrieve technical and financial files, including documents and photographs.

Conservation Client Gateway is entirely voluntary, giving producers a choice between conducting business online or traveling to a USDA service center.

Conservation Client Gateway is available to individual landowners and will soon be extended to business entities, such as Limited Liability Corporations. It is part of the agency's ongoing Conservation Delivery Streamlining Initiative, which will feature additional capabilities in the future.

For information about Conservation Client Gateway, visit:

Sept. 30 deadline for producers to apply for low-interest loans

Farmers and ranchers can apply through Sept. 30 for low-interest loans available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service direct farm ownership program.

Eligible farmers and ranchers can borrow up to $300,000 to buy farmland, construct or repair buildings, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation. The interest rate can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay.

Contact information can be found by selecting Idaho from USDA’s Service Center Locator at

New farmers and ranchers, military veterans, and underserved farmers and ranchers also are encouraged to apply. Each year Congress targets 80 percent of available loan funds to beginning and targeted underserved farmers and ranchers. Targeted underserved groups include American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians, or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and women.

For information, visit, or contact the FSA office in Grangeville, 983-1050.

Idaho results of first farmland landlord survey since 1999

There were 3,639,738 acres of farmland rented out by landlords in Idaho, according to the results of the 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey released Aug. 31 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

According to TOTAL findings, there were 17,909 farmland landlords in Idaho. Of these, 3,439 were farmers, while 14,470 were non-farming landlords.

Cropland made up 70 percent of all Idaho farmland rented, while 28 percent was rented pasture.

For complete TOTAL results, visit


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