WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers and ranchers who participate in Farm Service Agency programs to plan accordingly in fiscal year 2014 for automatic spending reductions known as sequestration.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates that federal agencies implement automatic, annual reductions to discretionary and mandatory spending limits.

For mandatory programs, the sequestration rate for 2014 is 7.2 percent. Accordingly, FSA is implementing sequestration for the following programs:

* Dairy Indemnity Payment Program;

* Marketing Assistance Loans;

* Loan Deficiency Payments;

* Sugar Loans;

* Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program;

* Tobacco Transition Payment Program;

* 2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payments;

* 2013 Average Crop Revenue Election Program;

* 2011 and 2012 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program;

* Storage, handling; and

* Economic Adjustment Assistance for Upland Cotton.

Conservation Reserve Program payments are specifically exempt by statute from sequestration, so these payments will not be reduced.

“These sequester percentages reflect current law estimates. However, with the continuing budget uncertainty, Congress still may adjust the exact percentage reduction,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia.

“At this time, FSA is required to implement the sequester reductions. Due to the expiration of the farm bill on Sept. 30, FSA does not have the flexibility to cover these payment reductions in the same manner as in fiscal year 2013. FSA will provide notification as early as practicable on the specific payment reductions.”