7 CFR Part 1940, Subpart G, Exhibit M to Subpart G of Part 1940 - Implementation Procedures for the Conservation of Wetlands and Highly Erodible...Affecting Farmer Program Loans and Loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal Corporations

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View PDF at GPO Pt. 1940, Subpt. G, Exh. M
Exhibit M to Subpart G of Part 1940—Implementation Procedures for the Conservation of Wetlands and Highly Erodible Land Affecting Farmer Program Loans and Loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal Corporations
1. Background. This exhibit implements the requirements of Subtitle B, Highly Erodible Land Conservation, and Subtitle C, Wetland Conservation, of Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985, Pub. L. 99-198. The purposes of these Subtitles are to: Reduce soil loss due to wind and water erosion; protect the Nation's long term capability to produce food and fiber; reduce sedimentation; improve water quality; assist in preserving the Nation's wetlands; create better habitat for fish and wildlife through improved food and cover; and curb production of surplus commodities by removing certain incentives for persons to produce agricultural commodities on highly erodible land or converted wetland.
2. Applicability. The provisions of this exhibit apply to insured and guaranteed Farmer Program loans and loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal Corporations, subordinations, transfers and assumptions of such loans and leases and credit sales of inventory property. For the purpose of this exhibit, “Farmer Program loans” means Farm Operating Loans, Farm Ownership Loans, Emergency Loans, and Soil and Water Loans. As used in this exhibit, the word loan is meant to include guarantee as well. Applicant means an applicant for either an insured or guaranteed loan and borrower means a recipient of either an insured or guaranteed loan.
3. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 prohibited activities. Unless otherwise exempted by the provisions of this exhibit, the proceeds of any Farmer Program loan or loan to an Indian Tribe or Tribal Corporation made or guaranteed by FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will not be used either (a) for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land, or (b) for a purpose that will contribute to conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity. (See § 12.2(a)(1) of subpart A of part 12 of subtitle A of title 7, which is attachment 1 of this exhibit and is available in any FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 office, for the definition of an agricultural commodity.) Consequently, any applicant proposing to use loan proceeds for an activity contributing to either such purpose, will not be eligible for the requested loan. Any borrower that uses loan proceeds in a manner that contributes to either such purpose will be in default on the loan.
a. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) definitions. In implementing this exhibit, FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will use the USDA's definitions of the terms found at § 12.2 of subpart A of part 12 of subtitle A of title 7 (attachment 1 of this exhibit which is available in any FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 office).
b. Highly erodible land conservation. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will conclude that excessive erosion of highly erodible land results or would result whenever (1) a field on which highly erodible land is predominant, as determined by the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), is or would be used to produce an agricultural commodity without conformance to a conservation system approved either by SCS or the appropriate conservation district, as evidenced by a statement from SCS, and (2) such field is not exempt from the provisions of this exhibit.
c. Wetland conservation. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will conclude that a conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity has occurred or will occur whenever, as determined by SCS, (1) a wetland has or will be drained, dredged, filled, leveled, or otherwise manipulated (including any activity that results in impairing or reducing the flow, circulation, or reach of water) that makes possible the production of an agricultural commodity without further application of the manipulations described herein if (a) such production would not have been possible but for such action and (b) before such action such land was wetland and was neither highly erodible land nor highly erodible cropland; and (2) neither the affected wetland nor the activity affecting the wetland is exempt from the provisions of this exhibit.
d. Use of loan proceeds. To use loan proceeds for a purpose that contributes to either the excessive erosion of highly erodible land or the conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity means that loan proceeds will or have been used in a way that contributes to either excessive erosion of highly erodible land or the conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity by paying the costs of any of the following:
(1) The purchase of the affected land;
(2) Necessary planning, feasibility, or design studies;
(3) Obtaining any necessary permits;
(4) The purchase, contract, lease or renting of any equipment or materials necessary to carry out the land modification or conversion to include all associated operational costs such as fuel and equipment maintenance costs;
(5) Any labor costs;
(6) The planting, cultivating, harvesting, or marketing of any agricultural commodity produced on nonexempt highly erodible land to include any associated operational or material costs such as fuel, seed, fertilizer, and pesticide costs;
(7) Within the crop year in which the wetland conversion was completed plus the next ten crop years thereafter, the planting, cultivating, harvesting, or marketing of any agricultural commodity produced on the affected land to include any associated operational or materials costs such as fuel, seed, fertilizer and pesticide costs; or
(8) For the same time period as in subparagraph 3d(7) above, any costs associated with using for on-farm purposes an agricultural commodity grown on the affected land.
(9) Additionally, if loan proceeds will be or have been substituted to pay other costs at anytime during the life of the loan so that non-loan funds can be used to pay any of the above costs, it is deemed that loan proceeds will be or have been used for a purpose that contributes to the prohibited activities described in this paragraph.
4. Prohibited activities under other USDA financial assistance programs. Unless otherwise exempted, a person becomes ineligible for a variety of USDA financial assistance programs if that person produces in any crop year an agricultural commodity on either a field on which highly erodible land is predominant or a converted wetland. This ineligibility extends to any commodity produced during the crop year that the prohibited action occurs. The programs for which the person would be ineligible include price support payments, farm storage facility loans, disaster payments, crop insurance, payments made for the storage of an agricultural commodity, and payments received under a Conservation Reserve Program Contract. Farmer Program applicants and borrowers and applicants for, and borrowers of, loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal Corporations, therefore, can be affected not only by the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 prohibited activities but also by the broad USDA sweep of the Subtitles B and C restrictions. Should such an applicant rely or plan to rely on any of these other USDA financial assistance programs as a source of funds to repay its FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan(s) and then fail to meet the other program(s)' eligibility criteria related to wetland or highly erodible land conservation, repayment ability to FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 or the lender of and FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 guaranteed loan may be jeopardized. Consequently, those applicants who are applying for a loan and those borrowers who receive a loan after the effective date of Subtitles B and C, as designated in part 12 of subtitle A of title 7, and who include in their projected sources of repayment, potential funds from any USDA program subject to some form of Subtitle B or C restrictions will have to demonstrate as part of their applications, and for borrowers, as part of their farm plan of operation, their ability to meet the other program(s)' eligibility criteria. Failure to meet the criteria will require the applicant or borrower either to document an alternative, equivalent source of revenues or, if possible, agree to undertake any steps necessary to gain eligibility for the other program(s). See paragraph 6 of this exhibit for a discussion of such steps.
5. Applicant's responsibilities.
a. Required information. Every applicant for a Farmer Program loan or a loan to an Indian Tribe or Tribal Corporation will be required to provide the following information and, as applicable, certification as part of the application for financial assistance. An application will not be considered to be complete until this information and certification are provided to FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354. Once an applicant has provided FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 with information from SCS on the presence of any highly erodible land, wetland, or converted wetland this information need not be provided again for a subsequent loan unless there is either a change in the property upon which FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan proceeds will be applied or a change in the previous information, such as a change in the status of an exemption. There is a continuing responsibility on FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 borrowers using other USDA financial assistance programs for repayment purposes to provide the County Supervisor with an executed copy of any similar certification required by the other USDA agency at the time of each required certification.
(1) A statement from the SCS indicating whether or not the applicant's farm property or properties contain either highly erodible land, wetland, or converted wetland and, if so, whether or not the applicant qualifies for a particular exemption to the provisions of this exhibit and as further detailed in paragraph 11 below. The property or properties will be listed and described in accordance with the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service's (ASCS) farm records system. SCS's execution of Form SCS-CPA-26, “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Determination,” is necessary to meet this information requirement.
(2) If either highly erodible land, wetland, or converted wetland is present, the applicant's properly executed original or carbon copy of Form AD-1026, “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Certification.”
b. Required actions. If at any time during the application review process any of the information or basis for an applicant's certification changes, the applicant (or the lender in the case of a guaranteed loan) must immediately notify FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354. If an applicant intends to produce an agricultural commodity on a nonexempt field on which highly erodible land is predominant, the applicant must develop a conservation system approved by SCS or the appropriate conservation district, demonstrate that it is or will be in compliance with the system at the time the field is to be used, and provide SCS's concurrence with this position.
6. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354's application review. The FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 County Supervisor will review the information provided by the applicant from SCS regarding the presence of any highly erodible land, wetland, or converted wetland and any possible exemptions and take the actions warranted by the presence of one or more of the circumstances described below. In carrying out these actions, FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will consider the technical decisions rendered by the SCS and the ASCS, as assigned to these agencies by subparts A, B, and C of part 12 of subtitle A of title 7 and further explained in this exhibit, to be final and controlling in the remaining FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 decisionmaking process for this exhibit. It must also be understood that the definition of a wetland used by SCS in implementing this exhibit applies only to this exhibit and not to other wetland protection provisions of subpart G of part 1940.
a. No highly erodible land, wetland, or converted wetland present. The requested loan can be approved under the provisions of this exhibit and, except for documenting this result in accordance with paragraph 8 of this exhibit, no further action is required.
b. Converted wetland present. The County Supervisor will consult with the applicant (and lender, in the case of a guaranteed loan) and the appropriate local office of the ASCS in order to determine if the converted wetland qualifies for the exemption specified in subparagraph c (1) of paragraph 11 of this exhibit. If so, no further action is necessary with respect to the converted wetland except for documenting the result. If the converted wetland does not qualify for an exemption, the County Supervisor will complete one or both of the following steps as the identified circumstances dictate.
(1) Step one. Review both the date that the wetland was converted and the proposed use of loan proceeds in order to determine if loan proceeds will be used for a prohibited activity as defined in subparagraph d of paragraph 3 of this exhibit. If not, the County Supervisor will so document this as specified in paragraph 8 of this exhibit; complete step two immediately below; and, if an insured loan will be approved, notify the applicant in writing, coincident with the transmittal of Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-1, “Request For Obligation of Funds,” and by using Form Letter 1940-G-1, “Notification of The Requirements of exhibit M of FmHA Instruction 1940-G,” that the loan approval instruments will contain compliance requirements affecting the applicant's converted wetland. If loan proceeds will be used for a prohibited activity, the applicant (and lender, in the case of a guaranteed loan) will be advised of the applicant's ineligibility for the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan being requested. The applicant (and lender, in the case of a guaranteed loan) will be advised of any modifications to the application that could cure the ineligibility. Not growing an agricultural commodity on the converted wetland would cure the ineligibility, but the substitution of non-FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 funds to grow an agricultural commodity on the converted wetland would not.
(2) Step two. The County Supervisor will review the applicant's sources of loan repayment to determine if they include funds from a USDA financial assistance program(s) subject to wetland conservation restrictions. If so, the County Supervisor will implement the actions in subparagraph e of this paragraph.
c. Highly erodible land or wetland present. The County Supervisor will discuss with the applicant (and lender, in the case of a guaranteed loan) and review the intended uses of the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan proceeds as evidenced in any relevant application materials.
(1) Proceeds to be used for prohibited activity. If proceeds would be used for a prohibited activity, the applicant (and lender, in the case of a guaranteed loan) will be advised of its ineligibility for the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan. The applicant (and lender, in the case of a guaranteed loan) will be informed of any modifications to its application that could cure the ineligibility, including financially feasible eligible loan purposes that could be helpful in implementing a conservation plan or installing a conservation system, should either be an appropriate cure. Substitution of non-FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 monies to accomplish the prohibited activity would not cure the ineligibility, but actual elimination of the activity from the applicant's farm plan of operation would.
(2) Proceeds not to be used for a prohibited activity. If loan proceeds are not planned to be used for a prohibited activity, the County Supervisor will perform the following tasks:
(a) Document the above determination in the applicant's file as specified in paragraph 8 of this exhibit.
(b) If an insured loan will be approved and the requirements of subparagraph c (2)(c) of this paragraph do not apply, notify the applicant in writing, coincident with the transmittal of Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-1, “Request For Obligation of Funds,” and by using Form Letter 1940-G-1, “Notification of The Requirements of Exhibit M of FmHA Instruction 1940-G,” that the loan approval instruments will contain compliance requirements affecting the applicant's highly erodible land and/or wetland.
(c) Review the term of the proposed loan and take the following actions, as applicable.
(i) Loan term exceeds January 1, 1990, but not January 1, 1995. If the term of the proposed loan expires within this period and the applicant intends to produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land that is exempt from the restrictions of this exhibit until either 1990 or two years after the SCS has completed a soil survey for the borrower's land, whichever is later, the County Supervisor will determine if it is financially feasible for the applicant, prior to loss of the exemption, to actively apply a conservation plan approved by SCS or the appropriate conservation district. See § 12.23 of subpart A of part 12 of subtitle A of title 7, which is attachment 1 of this exhibit and is available in any FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 office, for a definition of actively applying a conservation plan. Prior to loan approval, the applicant, the lender, (if a guaranteed loan is involved), FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 and SCS will resolve any doubts as to what extent production would be able to continue under application of a conservation plan and as to the financial implications on loan repayment ability from both the potential costs of actively applying the conservation plan and the potential loss of revenues from any reduced acreage production base. The loan approval official will determine the financial implications of actively applying a conservation plan to the applicant's highly erodible land by developing a projected farm plan of operation or other farm financial projections that reflect adequate repayment on the full scheduled installments for all debt obligations at the time the conservation plan is being actively applied. If in making this determination, loan repayment ability cannot be demonstrated, FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will deny the loan application. If loan repayament ability can be demonstrated and an insured loan will be approved, the applicant will be advised in writing, coincident with the transmittal of Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-1, “Request For Obligation of Funds,” and using Form Letter 1940-G-1, “Notification of The Requirements of Exhibit M of FmHA Instruction 1940-G,” that the loan approval instruments will contain compliance requirements affecting the applicant's highly erodible land. The applicant will also be advised that a statement from the SCS issued prior to either January 1, 1990, or two years after the SCS has completed a soil survey of the applicant's land (whichever is later) and stating that the applicant is actively applying an approved conservation plan will be considered adequate demonstration of compliance on the highly erodible land affected by the 1990 deadline.
(ii) Loan term exceeds January 1, 1995. If the term of the proposed loan would exceed this date and the borrower intends to produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land that is exempt from the restrictions of the exhibit up until that date (see subparagraph b (4) of paragraph 11 of this exhibit) the County Supervisor will determine if it is financially feasible for the applicant, after January 1, 1985, to produce an agricultural commodity on the highly erodible land in compliance with a conservation system approved by SCS or the appropriate conservation district. Prior to loan approval, the applicant, the lender (if a guaranteed loan is involved), FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 and SCS will resolve any doubts as to what extent production would be able to continue under a conservation system and as to the financial implications on loan repayment ability from both the potential costs of the conservation system and the potential loss of revenues from any reduced acreage production base. The loan approval official will determine the financial implications of compliance with a conservation system using the financial projection method(s) indicated in subparagraph c (2)(c)(i) of this paragraph. If loan repayment ability cannot be demonstrated, the application will be denied. If loan repayment ability can be demonstrated and an insured loan will be approved, the applicant will be advised in writing, coincident with the transmittal of Form 1940-1, “Request for Obligation of Funds,” and using Form Letter 1940-G-1, “Notification of The Requirements of Exhibit M of FmHA Instruction 1940-G,” that the loan approval instruments will contain compliance requirements affecting the applicant's highly erodible land. The applicant will also be advised that a statement from SCS issued prior to January 1, 1995, and stating that the applicant is in compliance with an approved conservation system will be considered adequate demonstration of compliance.
(d) Implement the actions in subparagraph e of this paragraph if the applicant plans to repay a portion of the loan with funds from a USDA financial assistance program subject to wetland or highly erodible land conservation restrictions.
d. Highly erodible land present that was or is planted in alfalfa. If the applicant plans to cultivate highly erodible land for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity and that highly erodible land during each of the 1981 to 1985 crop years was planted in alfalfa in a crop rotation determined by SCS to be adequate for the protection of highly erodible land, the applicant is exempt until June 1, 1988, from the requirement to fully implement an approved conservation system on the highly erodible land. The County Supervisor, following procedures similar to those indicated in subparagraph c (2)(c)(i) of this paragraph, will determine if it is financially feasible for the applicant to apply a conservation system to the highly erodible land prior to the loss of the exemption on June 1, 1988. If loan repayment ability cannot be demonstrated, the application will be denied. If loan repayment ability can be demonstrated and an insured loan will be approved, the applicant will be advised in writing that the loan approval instruments will contain compliance requirements affecting the applicant's highly erodible land. The applicant will also be advised that a statement from SCS issued prior to June 1, 1988 and stating that the applicant is in compliance with an approved conservation system will be considered adequate demonstration of compliance with this requirement.
e. Highly erodible land, wetland, or converted wetland present and applicant intends to use the USDA financial assistance program(s), including crop insurance, to repay FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan. The County Supervisor will consult with the applicant (and lender, in the case of a guaranteed loan) and the other USDA agency(s) to determine if the applicant is eligible for the latter's financial assistance. If not eligible, the applicant will have to demonstrate that an alternative source(s) of repayment will be available in order for further processing of the application to proceed.
7. Required provisions in loan approval documents.
a. Insured loans.
(1) Promissory Notes. For all loans to which this exhibit applies, all promissory notes must contain the provision indicated below: (Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-17, “Promissory Note,” has been revised so that the language will no longer be inserted as an addendum, but the following provision must be inserted as an addendum to Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 440-22, “Promissory Note (Association or Organization),” if the loan is being made to an Indian Tribe or a Tribal Corporation.)
“Addendum for Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation”
Addendum to promissory note dated ________ in the amount of $______ at an annual interest rate of __ percent. This agreement supplements and attaches to the above note.
Borrower recognizes that the loan described in this note will be in default should any loan proceeds be used for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land or to the conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity, as further explained in 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, exhibit M. If (1) the term of the loan exceeds January 1, 1990, but not January 1, 1995, and (2) Borrower intends to produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land that is exempt from the restrictions of exhibit M until either January 1, 1990 or two years after the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) has completed a soil survey for the Borrower's land, whichever is later, the Borrower further agrees that, prior to the loss of the exemption from the highly erodible land conservation restrictions found in 7 CFR part 12, Borrower must demonstrate that Borrower is actively applying on that land which has been determined to be highly erodible a conservation plan approved by the SCS or the appropriate conservation district in accordance with SCS's requirements. Furthermore, if the term of the loan exceeds January 1, 1995, Borrower further agrees that Borrower must demonstrate prior to January 1, 1995, that any production after that date of an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land will be done in compliance with a conservation system approved by SCS or the appropriate conservation district in accordance with SCS's requirements.
(Name of Borrower)
(Signature of Executive Official)
(Signature of Attesting Official)
(2) Mortgages, deeds of trust and security agreements. State Directors will consult with the Office of General Counsel and ensure that for all loans to which this exhibit applies a covenant is included in all mortgages, deeds of trust, and security agreements which reads as indicated below. Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 440-15, “Security Agreement (Insured Loans to Individuals),” and Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 440-4, “Security Agreement (Chattels and Crops),” have been revised accordingly. Equivalent forms required in State supplements must be similarly revised.
[For mortgages or deeds of trust:]
“Borrower further agrees that the loan(s) secured by this instrument will be in default should any loan proceeds be used for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land or to the conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity, as further explained in 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, exhibit M.”
[For security agreements:]
“Default shall also exist if any loan proceeds are used for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land or to the conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity, as further explained in 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, exhibit M.”
b. Guaranteed loans.
(1) Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 449-14, “Conditional Commitment for Guarantee,” and Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1980-15, “Conditional Commitment for Contract of Guarantee (Line of Credit).” These forms must contain a condition that includes the following provisions:
(a) Informs the lender that FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354's commitment is conditioned upon loan proceeds not being used for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land or to the conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity, as explained in this exhibit;
(b) Informs the lender of the lender's monitoring responsibilities under paragraph 10 of this exhibit; and;
(c) Requires the lender, for all borrowers having highly erodible land, wetland, or converted on their farm properties, to include provisions in its loan instruments similar to those contained in subparagraphs a (1) and (2) of this paragraph.
(2) Lender's loan and security instruments. These instruments must be modified as specified in subparagraph b(1)(c) of this paragraph.
8. Required FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 documentation. The actions taken and determinations made by FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 to comply with the provisions of this exhibit will be documented as part of the environmental review of the application. All actions subject to this exhibit will undergo at a minimum the completion of Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-22, “Environmental Checklist for Categorical Exclusions.” On the reverse of this form, the preparer will document as applicable (a) whether or not highly erodible land, wetland, or converted wetland is present, (b) if any exemption(s) applies, (c) the status of the applicant's eligibility for an FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan under this exhibit, and (d) any steps the applicant must take prior to loan approval to retain or regain its eligibility. If the application under review meets the definition of a Class I action as defined in § 1940.311 of this subpart, the above documentation will be included as an exhibit to Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-21, “Environmental Assessment for Class I Action.” If the application meets the definition of a Class II action as defined in § 1940.312 of this subpart, the required documentation will be included within the Class II assessment under the discussion of land use impacts. See paragraph IV.4. of exhibit H of this subpart. Once an applicant's farm property has undergone an environmental review covering the provisions of this exhibit, the County Supervisor reviewing a subsequent loan request need not require the applicant to obtain further site information from SCS as long as there is no change in the farm property to be affected or any applicable exemptions.
9. Borrowers' responsibilities. In addition to complying with any loan requirements resulting from FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354's implementation of this exhibit, a borrower must within ten days of receipt inform, in writing, the lender of a guaranteed loan and the County Supervisor for an insured loan of any ineligibility determinations received from other USDA agencies for violations of wetland or highly erodible land conservation restrictions. A borrower also has the responsibility to consult with the lender or County Supervisor, as applicable, if at any time the borrower is uncertain as to the borrower's duties and responsibility under the loan provisions.
10. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 and lender monitoring. As an element of insured loan servicing, to include development of a farm plan of operation for an upcoming crop year, scheduled farm visits, or other contracts with borrowers, FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 staff will review and analyze the borrower's compliance with the provisions of this exhibit and any related loan requirements. If at anytime FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 becomes aware of the borrower's violation of these provisions or related loan requirements, the borrower will be informed that the affected loan(s) is in default. In addition to directly monitoring borrowers, the County Supervisor will receive and review the monitoring results of other USDA agencies having restrictions on wetland and highly erodible land conservation. Whenever these results indicate that a borrower may have violated the loan conditions, the County Supervisor will further analyze the matter and respond, as indicated in this paragraph, should a violation be determined. Lenders of FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 guaranteed loans must also monitor compliance as part of their servicing responsibilities.
11. Exemptions and determining their applicability. Following is a list of exemptions from the provisions of this exhibit as well a description of how FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will apply the exemptions to a proposed loan or activity under a loan. This list is intended to provide guidance on implementing the exemptions contained in subparts A, B, and C of part 12 of subtitle A of title 7 (attachment 1 of this exhibit which is available in any FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 office) and does not modify or limit any of those exemptions.
a. Exemption from wetland and highly erodible land conservation. Any loan which was closed prior to December 23, 1985, or any loan for which either Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-1, “Request for Obligation of Funds,” Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 449-14, “Conditional Commitment for Guarantee,” or Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1980-15, “Conditional Commitment for Contract of Guarantee (Line of Credit),” was executed prior to December 23, 1985, is exempt from the provisions of this exhibit.
b. Exemptions from highly erodible land conservation. The following exemptions exist from the restrictions on highly erodible land conservation. Whenever the County Supervisor is required to consult with another USDA agency in applying these exemptions, the County Supervisor's review of a properly completed Form SCS-CPA-26 will be considered adequate consultation if the needed information is presented on the form and no questions are raised by the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 review.
(1) Any land upon which an agricultural commodity was planted before December 23, 1985, is exempt for that particular planting. The County Supervisor will consult with the appropriate local ASCS office in applying this exemption and the ASCS determination is controlling for purposes of this exhibit.
(2) Any land planted with an agricultural commodity during a crop year beginning before December 23, 1985, is exempt for that particular planting. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will consult with the ASCS State Executive Director and the latter's position will be controlling in determining the date that the crop year began.
(3) Any land that during any one of the crop years of 1981 through 1985 was either (a) cultivated to produce an agricultural commodity, or (b) set aside, diverted or otherwise not cropped under a program administered by USDA to reduce production of an agricultural commodity, is exempt until the later of January 1, 1990, or the date that is two years after the date that the SCS has completed a soil survey of the land. To apply this exemption, the County Supervisor will consult with ASCS to determine from the latter's records whether or not the land was cultivated or set aside during the required period. The ASCS determination will be controlling. However, the date of completion for any SCS soil survey will be determined by SCS and used by the County Supervisor.
(4) Beginning on January 1, 1990, or two years after SCS has completed a soil survey for the land, whichever is later, and extending to January 1, 1995, any land that qualified for the exemption in subparagraph b (3) of this paragraph is further exempt if a person is actively applying to it a conservation plan that is based on the local SCS technical guide and properly approved by the appropriate SCS conservation district or the SCS. To apply this exemption as well as the exemptions specified in subparagraphs b (5), (6), (7), and (8) of this paragraph, the County Supervisor will consult with the appropriate local SCS office and the SCS position will be controlling.
(5) Highly erodible land within a conservation district and under a conservation system that has been approved by a conservation district after the district has determined that the conservation system is in conformity with technical standards set forth in the SCS technical guide for such district is exempt.
(6) Highly erodible land not within a conservation district but under a conservation system determined by SCS to be adequate for the production of a specific agricultural commodity or commodities on any highly erodible land is exempt for the production of that commodity or commodities.
(7) Highly erodible land that is planted in reliance on a SCS determination that such land was not highly erodible is exempt. The exemption is lost, however, for any agricultural commodity planted after SCS determines that such land is highly erodible land.
(8) Highly erodible land planted or to be planted in an agricultural commodity that was planted in alfalfa during each of the 1981 and 1985 crop years in a crop rotation determined by SCS to be adequate for the protection of highly erodible land is exempt until June 1, 1988, from the requirement that the highly erodible land be planted in compliance with an approved conservation system.
c. Exemptions from wetland conservation. The following exemptions exist from the restrictions on wetland conservation. Whenever the County Supervisor is required to consult with another USDA agency in applying these exemptions, the County Supervisor's review of a properly completed Form SCS-CPA-26 will be considered adequate consultation if the needed information is presented on the form and no questions are raised by the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 review.
(1) A converted wetland is exempt if the conversion of such wetland was completed or commenced before December 23, 1985. The County Supervisor will consult with ASCS whose determination as to when conversion of a wetland commenced will be final for FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 purposes. Additionally, the County Supervisor will request evidence of ASCS's consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on each commenced determination reached for an FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 applicant or borrower. SCS will determine if a wetland is a converted wetland using the criteria contained in § 12.32 of subpart C of part 12 of subtitle A of title 7 (attachment 1 of this exhibit which is available in any FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 office). Under these criteria, however, a converted wetland determined to be exempt may not always remain exempt. The criteria include the provision that if crop production is abandoned on a converted wetland and the land again meets the wetland criteria, that land has reverted to a wetland and is no longer exempt. For purposes of FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 inventory farm properties, crop production will be considered to have been abandoned on a converted wetland either at the earlier of the time the former owner so abandoned crop production or at the time FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 caused crop production to be abandoned after the property came into FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354's inventory. While in its inventory FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will not lease the converted wetland for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity. Whether or not the wetland criteria are met on the abandoned land will be determined by SCS immediately before FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354's lease or sale of the property.
(2) The following are not considered to be a wetland under the provisions of this exhibit: (a) An artificial lake, pond, or wetland created by excavating or diking non-wetland to collect and retain water for purposes such as water for livestock, fish production, irrigation (including subsurface irrigation), a settling basin, colling, rice production, or flood control; (b) a wet area created by a water delivery system, irrigation, irrigation system, or application of water for irrigation and (c) lands in Alaska identified by SCS as having a predominance of permafrost soils. The County Supervisor will consult with SCS regarding the application of this exemption as well as the remaining exemptions in this paragraph and the SCS position will be controlling.
(3) A wetland is exempt if the production of an agricultural commodity is possible (a) as a result of a natural condition, such as drought, and (b) without action by the producer that destroys a natural wetland characteristic. This exemption is lost whenever condition (a) or (b) no longer exists.
(4) Production of an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland is exempt is SCS determines that the effect of such action, individually and in connection with all other similar actions authorized in the area by USDA agencies, on the hydrological and biological aspect of wetland is minimal.
12. Appeals. Any applicant or borrower that is directly and adversely affected by an administrative decision made by FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 under this exhibit may appeal that decision under the provisions of subpart B of part 1900 of this chapter (see especially § 1900.55).
13. Working with other USDA agencies.
a. Coordination. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 State Directors will consult with SCS State Conservationists and ASCS State Executive Directors to assess and coordinate loan processing workloads in order to minimize delays in responding to FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 requests for site information or for the application of the exemptions contained in paragraph 11 of this exhibit. State Directors will ensure that FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 field staff understand and can use the ASCS farm records system and will request ASCS training as needed. Also, management systems for sharing the information discussed in subparagraph b of this paragraph will be established.
b. Information exchange. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 State Directors will develop with ASCS State Executive Directors a system for FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 to routinely receive notification whenever a violation has occurred under ASCS's wetland and highly erodible land conservation restrictions. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 State Directors will in turn provide to any interested USDA agency the following information:
(1) Upon request, copies of site information or exemption decision made by SCS for FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 application reviews;
(2) Upon request, copies of exemption decisions made by FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354; and
(3) Notice of any violations of the provisions of this exhibit identified by FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 as a result of the monitoring activities identified in paragraph 10 of this exhibit.
14. Relationship of the requirements of this exhibit to the wetland protection requirements of exhibit C of this subpart. The provisions of this exhibit determine (a) whether or not an applicant for a Farmer Program insured or guaranteed loan or a loan to an Indian Tribe or Tribal Corporation is eligible to be considered for such a loan, and (b) whether or not a recipient of such a loan is properly using the loan proceeds with respect to the requirements of this exhibit. On the other hand, the requirements in exhibit C of this subpart regarding wetland protection cover all FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan and grant programs and address not questions of eligibility but the potential environmental impacts of a proposed action on a wetland and alternatives to the action. Consequently, those applications covered by this exhibit and which may be approved under this exhibit must also meet the requirements of exhibit C of this subpart. For example, an application covered by this exhibit (M) that proposed to convert a wetland into a tree farm would be exempt from this exhibit (M) because trees are not an agricultural commodity, i.e., there is no conversion in order to produce an agricultural commodity. However, before FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 could make the loan, the requirements of exhibit C of this subpart would have to be met to include an FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 finding that no practicable alternative exists to the conversion of the wetland. In summary, any proposed wetland conversion that is not prohibited by this exhibit (M) must next meet the requirements of exhibit C of this subpart before FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 approval of the requested financial assistance could be provided.
[53 FR 7333, Mar. 8, 1988, as amended at 53 FR 14778, April 26, 1988]

Title 7 published on 2014-01-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 7 - AGRICULTURE
U.S. Code: Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

Title 7 published on 2014-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 7 CFR 1940 after this date.

  • 2014-04-02; vol. 79 # 63 - Wednesday, April 2, 2014
    1. 79 FR 18482 - Environmental Policies and Procedures
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Housing Service, Farm Service Agency
      Proposed rule; extension of public comment period.
      Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before May 7, 2014.
      7 CFR Parts 1703, 1709, 1710, 1717, 1720, 1721, 1724, 1726, 1737, 1738, 1739, 1740, 1753, 1774, 1775, 1779, 1780, 1781, and 1782