January 2021

Virtual farm bill meeting series for 2021 decisions

Iowa producers have until March 15, 2021 to make their annual election for Price Loss Coverage or Agriculture Risk Coverage (at the individual and county levels) under the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2021 annual decision is unlike the previous farm ill when producers made a one-time decision for their operation that was in place for the life of the farm bill.

The basic choices continue to be Price Loss Coverage, and Agriculture Risk Coverage (at the individual and county levels). A farmer’s choice will depend on the type of operation, and the county and region where the farm is located. PLC payments are triggered when the marketing year average price falls below the reference prices of $3.70 per bushel for corn and $8.40 per bushel for soybeans. Current USDA projections for 2021 are close to $4.00 per bushel for corn and $10.55 per bushel for soybeans. Whereas, ARC-CO payments are triggered when actual county revenue for the crop is less than the benchmark guarantee.

In order to help Iowans analyze the options for 2021, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a series of webinars. The lead webinar on February 19, 1:00 PM, will feature staff from USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) addressing program logistics, changes for 2021, and how producers can best work with their county FSA staff and offices that may remain closed to the public through the sign-up date. Dr. Alejandro Plastina, extension economist, will review the analysis process on February 5th, 1:00 PM. The two statewide focused webinars will be followed by Farm Management Field Specialists holding regional webinars, February 9-19, going through examples with the most recent price projections, and answering questions on specific concerns by landowners and producers.

"While payments may not have the financial impact we have seen in previous years, producers should still review the decision for this risk management option with benchmark data as well as price projections for the current marketing year," said Ann Johanns, program specialist in economics with ISU Extension and Outreach. "If a producer does not make a change by March 15, the election from the previous sign-up is retained."

More Information

There is no cost to join the live webinars, and all virtual sessions will be recorded and available for viewing on the Ag Decision Maker website the day following the live session. With guidelines on in-person programming evolving, some in-person sessions may be offered in areas of the state. See the Ag Decision Maker webpage for details on the webinar series and a calendar of in-person programming.

Farm Transitions in 2021 and Beyond

In addition to the Farm Bill focused webinars, the monthly January webinar held on January 21, 2021 at 7:00 PM, is on "Farm Transitions in 2021 and Beyond". David Baker, director, ISU Beginning Farmer Center, will dive into the initial planning stages for farm transitions: values, vision, and goals as well as tips to address communication issues that often arise. Melissa O'Rourke Farm & Agribusiness Management Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss taking inventory and crunching the numbers; understanding federal estate and Iowa inheritance tax issues, and building your professional team. See the Ag Decision Maker events page to register or view replays of past webinars.

Alejandro Plastina, extension economist, 515-294-6160, plastina@iastate.edu
Ann M. Johanns, extension program specialist, 515-337-2766, aholste@iastate.edu


Alejandro Plastina

extension economist
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Ann M. Johanns

extension program specialist
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