Deadlines Near for Farmers to Make Farm Bill DecisionsTue, 27 Jan 2015 18:07:47 CST
Farmers have a limited amount of time to make important safety net decisions. With passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, farmers only have about two months left to elect a program through 2018. Texas A&M Extension Economist Dr. Joe Outlaw said farmers have to make their base reallocation and yield update decisions by February 27th. Farmers will need to elect between the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs by March 31st. Outlaw said farmers should not expect to get any relief on these deadlines.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays is covering the Red River Crops Conference in Childress, Texas, where he caught up with Outlaw. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
In choosing between ARC and PLC, both programs have their merits. Outlaw said in Texas it looks like ARC will pay well for the first few years, then payments tail off over time. PLC won't offer as much incentive up front, but the program offers security that their crop has a guaranteed price. For example wheat has a target price of $5.50 a bushel. If a farmer selects PLC, they can also purchase Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) with their crop insurance. He said farmers are looking at this option as a way to protect their operation at lower costs will consider SCO, because there are some real cost savings to be obtained.
In looking at the various options, Outlaw said he will not make these decisions for farmers. He recommends farmers take the time to look at the options and how it work for their farm. He believes the level of complication is directly tied to Congress tailoring this bill to farmers and their yields.
"The ability to tailor the safety net because of your operation is so powerful, because you can do that by farm number," Outlaw said. "Farmers need to think of it as this is a good thing, because it is a good thing. Not, they cursed me with all these decisions."
Outlaw believes farmers should take the time to evaluate the options and make the best decision for their farm and family.
"This is not a rule-of-thumb or coffee shop farm bill," Outlaw said. "This is a farm bill where you have to analyze it for yourself, make your own decisions and live with them."
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