U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 08, 2023
(a) The methods for dividing farms, tracts, and base acres are, in order of precedence: Estate, designation by landowner, cropland, and default. The proper method will be determined on a crop-by-crop basis.
(b) The estate method for reconstitution is the pro-rata distribution of base acres for a parent farm among the heirs in settling an estate. If the estate sells a tract of land before the farm is divided among the heirs, the base acres for that tract will be determined according to paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section.
(1) Base acres must be divided in accordance with a will, but only if the county committee determines that the terms of the will are such that a division can reasonably be made by the estate method.
(2) If there is no will or the county committee determines that the terms of a will are not clear as to the division of base acres, the base acres will be apportioned in the manner agreed to in writing by all interested heirs or devisees who acquire an interest in the property for which base acres have been established. An agreement by the administrator or executor will not be accepted in lieu of an agreement by the heirs or devisees.
(3) If base acres are not apportioned as specified in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section, the base acres must be divided as specified in paragraph (d) or (e) of this section, as applicable.
(c) If the ownership of a tract of land is transferred from a parent farm, the transferring owner may request that the county committee divide the base acres, including historical acreage that has been double cropped, between the parent farm and the transferred tract, or between the various tracts if the entire farm is sold to two or more purchasers.
(1) If the county committee determines that base acres cannot be divided in the manner designated by the owner because the owner's designation does not meet the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section, FSA will notify the owner and permit the owner to revise the designation to meet the requirements. If the owner does not furnish a revised designation of base acres within a reasonable time after such notification, or if the revised designation does not meet the requirements, the county committee will divide the base acres in a pro-rata manner in accordance with paragraph (d) or (e) of this section.
(2) The landowner may designate a manner in which base acres are divided by filing a signed written memorandum of understanding of the designation of base acres with the county committee before the transfer of ownership of the land. Both the transferring owner and transferee must sign the written designation of base acres.
(i) Within 30 days after a prescribed form, letter, or notice of base acres is issued by FSA following the reconstitution of a farm but before any subsequent transfer of ownership of the land, all owners in existence at time of the reconstitution request may seek a different manner of base acre designation by agreeing in writing by executing a form CCC–517 or other designated form.
(ii) The landowner must designate the base acres that will be permanently reduced when the sum of the base acres exceeds the effective cropland plus double-cropped acres for the farm.
(iii) When the part of the farm from which the ownership is being transferred was owned for less than 3 years, the designation by landowner method of designating base acres cannot be used unless the county committee determines that the primary purpose of the ownership transfer was other than to retain or to sell base acres. In the absence of such a determination, and if the farm contains land that has been owned for less than 3 years, the part of the farm that has been owned for less than 3 years will be considered as a separate farm and the base acres must be assigned to that farm in accordance with paragraph (d) or (e) of this section. Such apportionment will be made prior to any designation of base acres with respect to the part that has been owned for 3 years or more.
(3) The designation by landowner method may be applied, at the owner's request, to land owned by an Indian Tribal Council that is leased to two or more producers for the production of any crop of a commodity for which base acres have been established. If the land is leased to two or more producers, an Indian Tribal Council may request that the county committee divide the base acres between the applicable tracts in the manner designated by the Council. The use of this method is not subject to the requirements specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(d) The cropland method for reconstitution is the pro-rata distribution of base acres to the resulting tracts in the same proportion that each resulting tract bears to the cropland for the parent tract. This method of division will be used if paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section do not apply.
(e) The default method for reconstitution is the separation of tracts from a farm with each tract maintaining the base acres attributed to the tract when the reconstitution is initiated.
(f) Farm program payment yields calculated for the resulting farms of a division may be increased or decreased if the county committee determines the method used did not provide an equitable distribution considering available land, cultural operations, and changes in the type of farming conducted on the farm. Any increase in the farm program payment yield on a resulting farm will be offset by a corresponding decrease on another resulting farm of the division.