FAQ: How are the new USDA Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and new Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs working in terms of providing a farm financial safety net for farmers during the current downturn in market prices?
USDA in late October announced beginning Oct. 26, 2015 nearly one half of the 1.7 million farms that signed up for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs will receive safety-net payments for the 2014 crop year.
"Unlike the old direct payments program, which paid farmers in good years and bad, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized a new safety-net that protects producers only when market forces or adverse weather cause unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"For example, the corn price for 2014 is 30% below the historical benchmark price used by the ARC-County program, and revenues of the farms participating in the ARC-County program are down by about $20 billion from the benchmark during the same period. The nearly $4 billion provided today by the ARC and PLC safety-net programs will give assistance to producers where revenues dropped below normal."
Nationwide, most all soybean and corn farms elected ARC
The ARC/PLC programs primarily allow producers to continue to produce for the market by making payments on a percentage of historical base production, limiting the impact on production decisions.
Nationwide, 96% of soybean farms, 91% of corn farms, and 66% of wheat farms elected the ARC-County coverage option. And 99% of long grain rice and peanut farms, and 94% of medium grain rice farms elected the PLC option. Overall, 76% of participating farm acres are protected by ARC-County, 23% by PLC, and 1% by ARC-Individual. For data about other crops, as well as state-by-state program election results, final PLC price and payment data, and other program information including frequently asked questions, visit fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
How does federal budget control act affect payments?
Crops receiving assistance include barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans and wheat. In coming months, disbursements will be made for other crops after marketing year average prices are published by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress, requires USDA to reduce payments by 6.8%. For more information you can visit your local Farm Service Agency office. To find a local FSA office, go to offices.usda.gov.
The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs were made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, building on historic economic gains in rural America, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers.
Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit usda.gov/farmbill.