ISU Extension offers information about new farm bill
The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 contains a wide variety of legislation affecting everything from school lunches to milk checks. Some of the most immediate provisions that farmers must address are new limitations on commodity payments, the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE), and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) program.
New payment rules basically attribute USDA commodity payments to individual taxpayers, regardless of the number and nature of farm business entities they are involved in. Operators and owners will be asked to provide information about their roles in their farming operations in order to establish eligibility for program payments. ACRE provides intermediate term protection against the risk of falling revenues from crop production, in exchange for reduced direct program crop payments. SURE is a permanent disaster program that extends the level of coverage that producers can purchase through conventional crop insurance policies.
Additional titles in the bill address such issues as dairy price supports, organic production, horticultural crops, and programs for beginning farmers. Additional information about each of these topics can be found on the Iowa State University Ag Decision Maker website at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/. Simply click on the Farm Bill Information button on the home page. Another button links to a list of county level informational meetings scheduled for the next several months, featuring presenters from ISU Extension and the Farm Service Agency. For those who cannot attend a meeting, there are archived video presentations that can be accessed by home computer.
, retired economist.