Smith: The signup deadline for the USDA programs will be here soon. Shelby Myers is an Economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation and says the deadline is March 15, 2020, for the 2019 Program Year.
Myers: As far as options available, there’s the Agricultural Risk County coverage option, known as ARC-County, which is a county-level, crop revenue-based enrolled on a crop-by-crop basis. The Agriculture Risk Coverage individual coverage, known as ARC-IC, which is a whole-farm program, based on individual farm yields for all covered crops. There’s the Price Loss Coverage, known as PLC, which is a crop price-based program enrolled on a crop-by-crop basis.
Smith: She says the programs are designed for one purpose, which is to help producers manage a variety of risks during the growing season.
Myers: Unpredictable weather that impacts expected yields, or market impacts that cause crop prices to drop to low levels. 2019, with excessive rains, drought, fires, and even fall weather that has pushed harvest out to where we have crops still out in the fields in February. Farmers can utilize these farm programs to help their businesses manage through a difficult year of unexpected events and continue to stay in business for the next year.
Smith: One new aspect of the programs is a farmer can enroll in the ARC-County option or the PLC option on a crop-by-crop basis. Myers says that can add a new layer of complexity to the decision and that producers can find help with their decision making online.
Myers: I recommend using either the tool provided by the University of Illinois, called the Gardner FarmDoc Payment Calculator, or the ARC and PLC Decision Tool, which is online provided by Texas A & M. These online tools can help farmers run their individual crops and characteristics of their farm to help them make the right decision for their farm and managing their risk.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.