U.S. General Accounting Office

Survey Results on USDA's Implementation of Food Security Act Compliance Provisions

Compliance Activities

58. When a tract is not in compliance with the HELC and WC provisions, how often do you request an FSA-569 (NRCS Report of HELC and WC Compliance)?
(CHECK ONLY ONE ANSWER)
1. Always
2. Almost always
3. Most of the time
4. About half of the time
5. Some of the time
6. Almost never
7. Never
8. No response
59. If you discover that a producer is not applying an important practice in his or her conservation system during a status review, how often do you do the following?
(CHECK ONE FOR EACH PRACTICE)
    Always or almost always Most of the time About half of the time Some of the time Never or almost never No response
59a Work with the producer to develop a system that will meet the provisions
59b Identify a variance that will solve the situation for this year
59c Inform the producer that he or she is out of compliance and provide appeal rights
   
60. When you see a USDA participant's tract that includes HEL cropland farmed without a conservation system to meet the soil-loss reduction requirements, how often do you do the following?
(CHECK ONE FOR EACH PRACTICE.)
    Always or almost always Most of the time About half of the time Some of the time Never or almost never No response
60a Notify the participant immediately, either in person or by mail, that the tract may be out of compliance
60b Wait to see if the tract is on this year's status review list
60c Request an FSA-569 from the FSA
60d Notify the person, as time and workload permit
   
61. If a farmer has a farmed wetland (FW) with an existing hydrologic manipulation, would the farmer be able to do the following?
(CHECK ONE FOR EACH OPTION)
    Yes No No response
61a Expand the manipulation to remove all remaining hydrology and farm the area
61b Maintain the scope and effect of the maintenance performed prior to December 23, 1985, but not exceed that level of drainage
61c Convert the area without penalty to the farmer's USDA benefits
   
62. If a farmer is in violation of conservation compliance provisions on highly erodible land, how likely is it that the NRCS field office will automatically grant either a variance or an exemption to the producer in the first year?
(CHECK ONLY ONE ANSWER)
1. Very likely
2. Likely
3. As likely as not
4. Unlikely
5. Very unlikely
6. Not applicable-- never had a violation
7. No response
63. If a farmer is in violation of conservation compliance provisions on highly erodible land, how likely is it that the FSA field office will automatically grant either a variance or an exemption to the producer in the first year?
(CHECK ONLY ONE ANSWER)
1. Very likely
2. Likely
3. As likely as not
4. Unlikely
5. Very unlikely
6. No response
64. You have received an anonymous complaint that a USDA program participant has converted a wetland. On review, you find that the conversion is for nonagricultural use. How likely are you to carry out these options?
(CHECK ONE FOR EACH OPTION)
    Very likely Likely As likely as not Unlikely Very unlikely No response
64a Do nothing, as NRCS does not have jurisdiction
64b Notify the EPA or the District Corps of Engineers, as this is a potential Clean Water Act violation
64c Request an FSA-569 from FSA
   
65. Assume that you received the status review list for your county and there are tracts on the list that don't have any wetland determinations. How likely are you to check the tract in the field to assess any potential wetland violations?
(CHECK ONLY ONE ANSWER)
1. Very likely
2. Likely
3. As likely as not
4. Unlikely
5. Very unlikely
6. No response
66. Assume from the status review list that there are tracts where no records exist. How likely are you to check with the FSA office to see if the tracts have been reconstituted?
(CHECK ONLY ONE ANSWER)
1. Very likely
2. Likely
3. As likely as not
4. Unlikely
5. Very unlikely
6. No response
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