Three new videos have just been added to the series of related YouTube videos available online to help producers make decisions regarding new USDA farm program options created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The videos help explain the Agricultural Revenue Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs and related decisions that must be made soon, as deadlines are looming. The videos are available for viewing free from ISU Extension. They are listed with links at the end of this article.
The videos are 8 to 10 minutes each and are easy to understand. "It's another way to help provide background information so you can make decisions that are best for your farming operation," says Steve Johnson, an Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist. ISU Extension farm management specialists have held more than 170 meetings statewide this winter. However, producers still have questions concerning the new ARC and PLC programs, and the decisions that must be made by the upcoming deadlines.
Looming deadlines putting pressure on farmers to decide
Thinking through the farm program decisions and making the best choices for your farm involves three key steps, says Kelvin Leibold, another ISU Extension farm management specialist. The new ARC and PLC programs and related decisions are challenging to understand. This new farm bill has new acronyms, new definitions, and three important deadlines.
• By February 27: Farmland owners have a one-time opportunity to reallocate base acres and update APH yields on each farm to reflect current crop production. The process began last October and those decisions are due at the county FSA office by February 27.
• By March 31: Once a landowner makes the base and yield decision, the current producer on the farm will decide by FSA farm number whether to elect either the new Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage program for 2014 through 2018 crop years. ARC has two options, ARC-county (ARC-CO) and ARC-individual (ARC-IC).
• Mid-April through summer: The third decision is to actually enroll in the program you've chosen. You still have to enroll each year. When producers first enroll they must sign contracts for both the 2014 and 2015 crop years, as the first two years of the five years will run concurrently.
Videos can help farmers navigate new farm program choices
Articles explaining the new farm program are on the ISU Ag Decision Maker website. This site also has decision making tools available; calculator spreadsheets that can help you make decisions. Click here.
The series of 8 "how to" videos are also listed on this website. The three new videos that have been added in recent days are titled: Determining the Marketing Year Average National Price; Making the ARC or PLC Election; and Reviewing ARC/PLC Forms and Program Compliance. Here's the complete list and links you can click on to view and listen to the presentations: