Farm Program Offers Updates and New Crop Programs

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) has authorized a one-time base acreage reallocation and program yield update. The Farm Bill has also authorized new farm programs including Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC). PLC and ARC crop programs provide price and revenue, respectively, payments to eligible producers for the 2014 through 2018 crop years.
 The Farm Bill decision process is a three-step process:

  1. Reallocation of base acres and/or update of counter-cyclical yields (CC yield) by FSA farm number.
  2. Election (one-time) of PLC or ARC program by FSA farm number for the period of the farm bill.
  3. Enrollment (annual) of the farm in the program elected.

Summary Acreage History Report
In early August 2014, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will mail all farmland owners and operators a Summary Acreage History Report by FSA farm number. This report will provide the farm owners and operators with the base acres and counter-cyclical yield (CC yield) as of Sept. 30, 2013. This report will also identify the planted acres of covered commodities reported (for 2008 through 2012), prevented planted acres, and acres planted after failed or prevented (subsequent acres). These were reported to FSA by the producer for all covered commodities planted on the farm for each year 2008 through 2012. Also, in approved double crop counties, both covered commodities planted will be included.
Reallocation of Base Acres
Upon receipt of the Summary Acreage History Report, farmland owners and operators should thoroughly review the acreage data by farm for each crop and each year outlined in the report. If the acreage history is accurate for the farm then no further action is required by the farmland owner or operator at this time. However, farmland owners and operators who determine the Summary Acreage History Report is incorrect or missing data should contact their local FSA county office to request corrections to the acreage history report. Additional information will be provided once the reallocation software and forms are available in FSA county offices which may require farmland owners and operators input or action.
Base acreage reallocation allows the landowner/producer to reallocate base acres to covered commodities based on historical plantings from the current base acre allocation. The historical plantings are based on the years of 2009 to 2012. Individuals cannot increase the number of base acres; they can only reallocate the base acres. The individual/s will have the option to keep the current base acre allocation as of September 30, 2013 or reallocate the base acres.

Update of CC Yield to Program Yield
The historical CC Yield will be provided in the letter; the producer/landowner will have the option to update the program yield based on a 5-year (2008-2012) historical planted yield history. The updated Program Yield will be equivalent to 90% of the simple average of the planted yield from 2008 to 2012. A plug yield per year of 75% of the county average planted yield will be used for farm planted yields below the 75% county average value. FSA is projected to launch their reallocation of bases/yield updates software in the early fall 2014. If the decision to update Program Yield (from CC Yield) is taken, producers should be watching for further information on what information will be accepted to document historical yields.
Information on Farm Bill Crop Programs
The initial program information has been released. See the Ag Decision Maker – Farm Bill homepage for the latest information related to Iowa producers http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/farmbill.html
USDA hopes to publicize the final program and the regulations for both ARC and PLC in the fall of 2014. Producers can visit FSA’s Farm Bill website at www.fsa.usda.gov/farmbill and are encouraged to visit often for the latest in FSA federal farm program news and updates. FSA also recommends farmland owners and operators subscribe to GovDelivery – FSA’s online news source. You can self-subscribe at www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribeor. Monthly updates and related announcements will be electronically delivered to online subscribers with 24/7 access to the latest Farm Bill information.
Additionally, the USDA has allocated funding to state-based Extension services to educate producers/landowners, and has authorized the academic institutions to develop web-based tools to help producers/landowners decide on ARC, PLC and other programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
Information obtained from USDA Notice ARCPLC-7 and provided by Steve Johnson, ISUEO Farm Business Management Field Specialist.

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