Iowa farmers who want to compare the relative advantages of traditional USDA farm programs vs. the government's new Average Crop Revenue Election program can now access a helpful computer program, courtesy of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.
The calculator program, sponsored by a group of state corn grower associations, allows each farmer to plug in farm-specific data to get a detailed benefit analysis of the two programs. All ICGA members will receive a copy of the program and its accompanying information by mail.
Growers who are not currently ICGA members will be able to access the program by visiting www.iowacorn.org after Dec. 1. The ACRE program is an election, which means that it is optional.
Should you sign up for USDA's ACRE option?
"Providing a tool for producers to use to help them determine whether or not to sign up for the ACRE program is an important part of our job as a producer organization," said Gary Edwards, ICGA president. "During the recent farm bill discussions, the Iowa Corn Growers Association along with the National Corn Growers Association worked hard to see that the ACRE program was developed and provided to growers as a safety net."
Because the USDA has not finished its final rule-making procedures, some of the assumptions in the program could change. The ICGA will post updated information on its Web site, www.iowacorn.org, as they become available.
USDA's new ACRE program option has three main features:
- Direct payments equal to 80% of direct payments under the traditional direct payment program
- Marketing loan payments with loan rates set at 70% of marketing loan rates established in the 2008 Farm Bill
- ACRE revenue protection payments