Tolle Says Farm Bill Offers Farmers Options with ARC, PLC, SCOMon, 29 Sep 2014 17:56:58 CDT
Farmers are starting to see the rollout out of the 2014 Agricultural Act. With the new farm bill farmers will no longer receive direct payments as producers will have new risk management program to enroll intro through the Farm Service Agency. Oklahoma FSA Executive Director Francie Tolle said farmers will have two programs to select from with the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) option and the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program.
"The PLC program is based on price," Tolle said. "It's a lot like a counter-cyrical program, so if the price dips below there is payment."
With the ARC program, farmers have two options within that program with a county option and an individual option. Tolle said ARC is based on revenue that will take into account yield as well as price.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays featured Tolle about the rollout of the farm safety net programs through the Farm Bill. You can listen to the feature by Clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
On Monday, September 29th, the US Department of Agriculture allowed landowners to reallocate their base acre or update yield history. This is a big decision that farmers will need to contemplate. Tolle said the last time farmers were able to make changes to their base acres or yield was back in 2002.
"Plantings have changed in Oklahoma," Tolle said. "You know we got a lot of wheat base out there, but over the last several years we've planted a lot of different crops, so people may want to look and see, do they want to reallocate those bases to another covered commodity."
In making that decision, Tolle said farmers will want to consider what they are planting now and in the future, determine what prices will do in the future. Land-grant universities like Texas A & M, University of Illinois and Oklahoma State University have developed to tools to assist producers evaluate base reallocations, along with choosing between ARC and PLC. Tolle said some of the tools are simplistic and easy to use, while others are more detail orientated in determining the probability of receiving a payment.
After the base reallocation and yield update process farmers will be able to election period where they will have to choose between ARC and PLC for the duration of the Farm Bill. Tolle said farmers will make that choice for each crop, depending on what their base acres are.
To help producers make those decisions, $6 million dollars was allocated for producer education. FSA along Oklahoma State University and the Risk Management Agency will be putting on 20 different meetings across the state. FSA will go over how ARC and PLC work. RMA will go over the Supplemental Coverage Option, the new crop insurance option for producers go with PLC. OSU will go over the tools that are being made available to producers. The dates of the meetings will be posted on the Oklahoma FSA website.
While some have criticized the farm safety net programs for being too complicated, Tolle said she is grateful that the program isn't just a one-size fits all program. She said this lets a producer manage their own risk, but in order to do that, producers need to evaluate their own farm.
"This is really an exceptional opportunity to really look at your own farm and figure out how you can manage your risk better," Tolle said. "This is probably the best opportunity farmers have had to choose how to manage their risk."
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