2014 Farm Bill Overview and Options

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The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) combine provisions from previous programs delivered by Farm Service Agency.  ARC/PLC payments are decoupled. That is, payments are determined using a farm’s base acres; actual plantings are not used to calculate payments, with certain exceptions.

By JULIE KRAMLICH, Adams County Extention Agent and BROOKE KESSEL, Adams County Farm Service Agency Executive Director

For the Record 

The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes three program election options: PLC, ARC-County (ARC-CO) and ARC-Individual (ARC-IC). PLC payments are issued when the effective price of a covered commodity is less than the respective reference price for that commodity established in the statute for 2014-2018 crops. ARC-CO payments are issued when the actual county crop revenue of a covered commodity is less than the ARC-CO guarantee for the covered commodity. ARC-IC payments are issued when actual ARC-IC revenue, summed across all covered commodities on the farm, is less than the associated ARC-IC guarantee. ARC and PLC are available for the following covered commodities: wheat, oats, barley, corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, large chick-peas and peanuts.

Action Needed Now

In August, operators and owners of farms with base acreage received a letter from the Farm Service Agency that contained a Reported Commodity Crop History Summary. The summary provided the current base acres, yields, and 2008-2012 planting history for each farm.

Please cross check the letter with your farm records. If the information is correct, no further action is needed at this time, but if the letter is incomplete or incorrect, contact Farm Service Agency. Verifying the accuracy of data on a farm’s acreage history is important.

Step 1: Base Acre Reallocation and Yield Update (Fall of 2014)  

Producers may choose to keep their existing base acres or reallocate base acres using their 2009-2012 crop history and to retain or update program payment yields.

Step 2: ARC/PLC Election (Fall 2014/Winter 2015)

All producers on a farm will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election between PLC, ARC-CO, and ARC-IC for 2014-2018 crop years.

Step 3: ARC/PLC Enrollment (Early 2015) 

Producers can expect to sign contracts for ARC or PLC for the 2014 and 2015 crop years in early 2015. Decisions will be made on a crop by crop basis within each Farm Service Agency farm number.

Resources Available 

An education tool is available from the North Dakota State University Extension Service for evaluating certain options under the 2014 Farm Bill.

The program, available at www.ag.ndsu.edu/farmmanagement/farm-bill, will assist producers with these decisions, given their national average marketing year price and county average yield projections. Julie Kramlich, Adams County Extension Agent, is available to assist producers with the 2014 Farm Bill Decision Calculator. Julie can be reached at 701-567-2735 or at the Adams County Extension Service.

The Adams County Farm Service Agency office can be reached at 701-567-2462, extension 2.