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OMM/OCFS/OTDA Materials: INFs Issued by OTDA

90 INF-6: Food Stamp Certification of Self-Employed Farmers

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided the
following clarifications regarding the treatment of farm income for food

1. Shelter Portion of Farm: Where a farm mortgage does not separately
   identify the business and home portions of the property, the local
   district may use reasonable means of identifying the separate costs
   through proration. Proration may be based on information from
   sources such as the mortgage lender, real estate tax records,
   Farmer's Home Administration documents, insurance premium notices,
   or other available information. The prorated portion of the
   mortgage principal, taxes and interest which are attributed to the
   home are allowed as shelter costs. The portion of the interest and
   taxes (but not mortgage principal payments) attributed to the
   business portion of the property are allowed as costs of producing

   Similarly, utility expenses which are not separately metered for
   the home and business portions of the farm may be prorated, based
   on income tax records or other available information. The prorated
   actual cost which is attributed to the business is allowed as a
   cost of producing income. The remaining actual cost or the utility
   standard, whichever is greater, is allowed as a shelter expense.

2. Exclusion of Farm Property: The following clarifications apply to
   households which have ceased farm operations but have not sold
   their farm property. Farm land which is contiguous with the
   property on which a household's home is located is excluded as a
   resource indefinitely. Non-contiguous property is excluded for one
   year after the household ceases to be engaged in farm self-
   employment. After that year, the non-contiguous property is
   excluded as an inaccessible resource as long as the household is
   making a good-faith effort to sell it at a reasonable price.

3. Definition of Farming Operations: In response to questions, the
   USDA has confirmed that the production and sale of maple products,
   Christmas trees and beeswax are also considered farming operations.



Created: 10/29/2004
Updated: 11/1/2004