Virtual Farm Bill meeting series planned for 2021

dumping grain into grain cart

AMES, Iowa – 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.
 
This annual decision is unlike the previous farm bill, when producers made a one-time decision for their operation that was in place for the life of the bill.
 
Webinars planned. In order to help Iowans understand their options for 2021, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a series of webinars. The lead webinar is on Jan. 19 at 1 p.m., and will feature staff from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency 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.
 
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 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 guarantee.
 
Alejandro Plastina, associate professor in economics and extension economist at Iowa State, will review the analysis process on Feb. 5 at 1 p.m.
 
“We are excited to present our new decision tool,” said Plastina. “It calculates the highest county yield that would trigger ARC-CO payments in 2021-2022, for a user’s defined price and a range of plus/minus 20 percent of that price, and shows the probabilities for each of those yield triggers based on historical county yields.”
 
The two statewide webinars will be followed up by farm management field specialists holding regional webinars, presenting various scenarios with the most recent price projections, and answering questions and concerns.
 
“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.”
 
Registration 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, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/farmbill.html for details on the webinar series and a calendar of in-person programming.
 
A separate webinar will be held Jan. 21, on the topic of “Farm Transitions in 2021 and Beyond.” The presenters are Melissa O’ Rourke, farm and agribusiness management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, and David Baker, director of the Beginning Farmer Center. View this webinar on the Ag Decision Maker webinar page: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/meetings.html

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