In a time where the future successes of the farm are far from certain, there is hope. The Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resource Conservation Service offer a wide variety of programs to help farmers and ranchers protect their farm and take care of the land.
These programs include the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. The ARC and PLC protect a variety of crops if the effective prices drop below the reference price for the PLC. The ARC is a safety net in case the actual crop revenue dips below the specified guaranteed level.
The Conservation Reserve Program is where less than ideal farmland is taken out of production and is planted to long-term, resource-conserving plant species. This leads to wildlife habitat, improvements to water quality and reduced erosion. Landowners receive an annual rental payment, incentive payments and cost-share assistance from the FSA for these lands.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers to enroll now in the Agriculture Risk (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. March 15, 2020 is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year.
FSA anticipates 1.5 million producers will enroll for ARC and PLC. By enrolling soon, producers can beat the rush as the deadline nears.
“If you have not already visited your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office to make your election for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program and to sign your annual enrollment contract you should call and make your appointment now,” said David Schemm, State Executive Director for the Kansas USDA Farm Service Agency. “ARC and PLC provide financial protections to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms. These programs cover 20 commodities in the U.S.”
Until March 15, producers can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office unless yield updates are requested. Additionally, farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields that take effect beginning with crop year 2020. If the owner accompanies the producer to the office, the yield update and enrollments may be completed during the same office visit.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of not letting this deadline get lost in the hectic day-to-day obligations of farm life. If you fail to enroll for 2019 ARC or PLC, you will be ineligible to receive a payment for the 2019 crop year,” said Schemm.
The deadline for the Conservation Reserve Program is Feb. 28, 2020. This signup is available to farmers and private landowners who are either enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling for another 10- to 15-year term.
CRP has 22 million acres enrolled, but the 2018 Farm Bill lifted the cap to 27 million acres.
Make an appointment with your local USDA Service Center to sit down and discuss the different options that would work best for your personal operation. These programs are complex but important and having these farm service professionals to go in depth on the details can ensure you make the best choice for your unique needs.
Call FSA today for an appointment. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.
For more information about these programs, visit fsa.usda.gov.