USDA ANNOUNCES FARM BILL DECISION MAKING TOOLS

Lindsay Mitchell

Sep, 25, 2014  |  Today's News

Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new tool to help farmers determine what farm program options will work best to manage risk on their family farms. 

The new programs, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), are cornerstones of the commodity farm safety net programs in the 2014 Farm Bill, legislation that ended direct payments. Both programs offer farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and/or revenues. Producers will have through early spring of 2015 to select which program works best for their businesses.

To help farmers choose between ARC and PLC, USDA helped create online tools that allow farmers to enter information about their operation and see projections about what each program will mean for them under possible future scenarios. The new tools are now available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

USDA provided $3 million to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M (co-leads for the National Association of Agricultural and Food Policy), along with the University of Illinois (lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education) to develop the new programs.

“We’re committed to giving farmers as much information as we can so they can make an informed decision between these programs,” said Vilsack. “These resources will help farm owners and producers boil the information down, understand what their options are, and ultimately make the best decision on which choice is right for them. We are very grateful to our partners for their phenomenal work in developing these new tools within a very short time frame.”

Starting Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, farm owners may begin visiting their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices if they want to update their yield history and/or reallocate base acres, the first step before choosing which new program best serves their risk management needs. Letters sent this summer enabled farm owners and producers to analyze their crop planting history in order to decide whether to keep their base acres or reallocate them according to recent plantings.

The University of Illinois and Illinois Corn have also been working throughout the summer to provide you more information on the decisions you’ll need to make by early spring 2015.  Visit http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/areas/2014_farm_bill/ for articles detailing new farm program options, how each might work for you, and what form of risk coverage you can anticipate from each. 

If you would like to receive updates about farm bill information as it occurs, click here!