The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farm owners and producers that the opportunity to choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), begins Nov. 17, and continues through March 31, 2015. The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.
“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,” said 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.”
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.
“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,” said 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.”
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 producers 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.
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 the convenience of a home computer or a mobile device at any time. To learn more about upcoming educational meetings, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office at http://go.usa.gov/pYV3
The announcement was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. 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 www.usda.gov/farmbill.