Timeline For USDA Farm Program Decisions

Timeline For USDA Farm Program Decisions

Farmers have until March 31, 2015 to choose a USDA program option that best fits their farming operation.

FAQ: What are the deadlines for election and enrollment in USDA's new ARC and PLC farm programs? Which one is the better choice to provide a farm financial safety net for my farm?

Answer: USDA officials are reminding farm owners and operators that the opportunity to choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill programs -- Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) -- began Nov. 17, 2014, and it continues through March 31, 2015. The new programs, designed to help producers better manage financial risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.

NEW SAFETY NET OPTIONS: To learn more about which farm financial safety net options are most appropriate for specific farming operations, use new Web tools at FSA website. Or visit with a farm program specialist at your local FSA office.

"USDA is committed to keeping farm owners and producers well informed on all steps in this process to ensure that they have all of the information that they need before making their coverage choice," says Farm Service Agency administrator Val Dolcini. "The new ARC and PLC programs provide a more rational approach to helping farmers manage risk by ensuring families don't lose the farm because of events beyond their control."

Online tools can help with your decision-making
USDA helped create online tools to assist in the decision process allowing farm owners and producers to enter information about their operation and see projections that show what ARC and/or PLC will mean for them under possible future scenarios. Farm owners and producers can access the online resources, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, from the convenience of their home computer or mobile device at any time.

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"In addition to the new online tools, USDA has done extensive outreach, including partnering with State Cooperative Extension Services to hold meetings and meet with farm owners and producers," says Dolcini. "USDA leaders will continue visiting with farm owners and producers to share information and answer questions the new programs. We want to help producers boil the information down, understand their options and make the best decision on which program – ARC or PLC – is right for them."

Boil the information down, understand your options
Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

Dates associated with ARC and PLC that farm owners and operators need to know:

• Now through Feb. 27, 2015: Farm owners may visit their local Farm Service Agency office to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres.

• Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015: Producers make a one-time election between ARC and PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years.

• Mid-April 2015 through summer 2015: Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years.

• October 2015: Payments issued for 2014 crop year, if needed.

 Now through Feb. 27, 2015

Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015

Mid-April through Summer 2015

October 2015

Farm owners make base reallocation/yield updates

Producers make election between ARC/PLC

Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years

Payments issued for 2014 crop year, if needed

To learn more about which safety net options are most appropriate for specific farming operations, farmers can use new Web tools at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, which can be accessed from convenience of a home computer or a mobile device at any time. To learn more about upcoming educational meetings, farmers can contact their local FSA county office.

TAGS: Soybean USDA
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