USDA continues rollout of Farm Bill programs

In preparation for implementing commodity programs in the 2014 farm bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency recently announced that farmers should start receiving notices to update FSA on their current base acres, yields and 2009-2012 planting history.

“As farmers begin to make critical decisions about farm safety net programs, it’s important that they have the correct information. This is good due diligence on the part of FSA,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Ill. “We applaud USDA’s implementation of important risk management programs and encourage producers to take a few minutes to work with county FSA officials to verify their records at the FSA office.”

The 2014 farm bill created two new programs to help farmers manage their risks, the Agriculture Risk Coverage program and the Price Loss Coverage program. Verifying the accuracy of data on a farm’s acreage history is an important step for producers enrolling in these programs. In the months ahead, both programs will allow farmers to update their crop yield information and reallocate base acres.

When farmers receive their notice, they are encouraged to contact their local FSA office to schedule an appointment.

FSA also announced that by mid-winter, producers and landowners will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election between price protection (PLC) and county revenue protection or individual revenue protection (ARC) for 2014-2018 crop years. Producers can expect to sign contracts for ARC or PLC for the 2014 and 2015 crop years early in 2015.

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