U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 14, 2019

§ 12.4 - Determination of ineligibility.

(a) Actions. Except as provided in §§ 12.5 or 12.13, a person shall be ineligible for all or a portion of USDA program benefits listed in this section if:

(1) The person produces an agricultural commodity on a field in which highly erodible land is predominant, or designates such a field for conservation use;

(2) The person produces an agricultural commodity on a wetland that was converted after December 23, 1985; or

(3) After November 28, 1990, the person converts a wetland by draining, dredging, filling, leveling, removing woody vegetation, or other means for the purpose, or to have the effect, of making the production of an agricultural commodity possible.

(b) Highly erodible land. A person determined to be ineligible under paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be ineligible for all program benefits listed in (d) and (e) of this section.

(c) Wetland conservation. Except as provided in § 12.13, a person determined to be ineligible under paragraph (a)(2) of this section is ineligible for all or a portion of the USDA program benefits listed in paragraph (d) of this section for which the person otherwise would have been eligible during the crop year of the commodity that was planted on the converted wetland. Except as provided in § 12.13, a person determined to be ineligible under paragraph (a)(3) of this section for the conversion of a wetland is ineligible for all or a portion of the USDA program benefits listed in paragraph (d) of this section for which the person otherwise would have been eligible during the crop year which is equal to the calendar year during which the violation occurred and each subsequent crop year until the converted wetland is restored or the loss of wetland values, acreage, and functions have been mitigated prior to the beginning of such calendar year in accordance with § 12.5(b)(4)(i) (A) and (C) through (F) of this part. Ineligibility under paragraph (a)(2) of this section may be reduced, in lieu of the loss of all benefits specified under paragraph (d) of this section for such crop year, based on the seriousness of the violation, as determined by the FSA Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs or designee upon recommendation by the FSA County Committee. Factors such as the information that was available to the affected person prior to the violation, previous land use patterns, the existence of previous wetland violations under this part or under other Federal, State, or local wetland provisions, the wetland values, acreage, and functions affected, the recovery time for full mitigation of the wetland values, acreage, and functions, and the impact that a reduction in payments would have on the person's ability to repay a USDA farm loan will be considered in making this determination.

(d) Programs subject to either highly erodible land or wetland conservation. USDA program benefits covered by a determination of ineligibility under this rule are:

(1) Contract payments, marketing assistance loans, and any type of price support or payment made available under the Agricultural Act of 2014, the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714b and 714c), or successor Acts.

(2) A farm credit program loan made or guaranteed under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.) or any other provision of law administered by FSA if the Secretary determines that the proceeds of such loan will be used for a purpose that contributes to the conversion of wetlands that would make production of an agricultural commodity possible or for a purpose that contributes to excessive erosion of highly erodible land (i.e., production of an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without a conservation plan or conservation system as required by this part);

(3) A payment made pursuant to a contract entered into under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program under chapter 4 of subtitle D of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended; or a payment under any other provision of Subtitle D of that Act;

(4) A payment made under section 401 or 402 of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2201 or 2202);

(5) A payment, loan, or other assistance under section 3 or 8 of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (16 U.S.C. 1003 or 1006a) and;

(6) Federal crop insurance premium subsidies for a policy or plan of insurance offered under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501-1524).

(e) Programs subject to highly erodible land only. In addition to programs listed in paragraph (d) of this section, a person determined to be ineligible under paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall be ineligible as determined by FSA for the following USDA program benefits for which the person otherwise would have been eligible during the crop year for which the determination applies:

(1) A farm storage facility loan made under section 4(h) of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714b(h));

(2) A disaster payment made under the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act, Pub. L. 104-127, or any other act; and

(3) A payment made under section 4 or 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714b or 714c) for the storage of an agricultural commodity acquired by the Commodity Credit Corporation.

(f) Determination of ineligibility. For the purpose of paragraph (a) of this section, a person shall be determined to have produced an agricultural commodity on a field in which highly erodible land is predominant or to have designated such a field for conservation use, to have produced an agricultural commodity on converted wetland, or to have converted a wetland if:

(1) NRCS has determined that -

(i) Highly erodible land is predominant in such field, or

(ii) All or a portion of the field is converted wetland; and

(2) FSA has determined that the person is or was the owner or operator of the land, or entitled to share in the crops available from the land, or in the proceeds thereof; and

(3) With regard to the provisions of paragraph (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, FSA has determined that the land is or was planted to an agricultural commodity or was designated as conservation use during the year for which the person is requesting benefits.

(g) Intent to participate in USDA programs. Persons who wish to participate in any of the USDA programs described in paragraph (d) or (e) of this section are responsible for contacting the appropriate agency of USDA well in advance of the intended participated date so that Form AD-1026 can be completed. This contact will help assure that the appropriate determinations regarding highly erodible land or wetland, and conservation plans or conservation systems are scheduled in a timely manner. A late contact may not allow sufficient time for USDA to service the request and could result in a substantial delay in receiving a USDA determination of eligibility or ineligibility.

[61 FR 47025, Sept. 6, 1996; 61 FR 53491, Oct. 11, 1996; 76 FR 82077, Dec. 30, 2011; 80 FR 22880, Apr. 24, 2015]