USDA has opened up enrollment for the main commodity programs in the farm bill, the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs.
Enrollment is open for the 2019 crop year and farmers have until March 15, 2020 to sign up for the programs for 2019.
Under the 2018 farm bill, farmers can sign up their individual crops in ARC-County or PLC, or sign up the entire farm in ARC-individual. Those program elections will apply for the 2019 and 2020 crop years.
ARC operates on a rolling average of revenue price guarantees for crops based on average county yields. PLC has set reference prices for commodities and pays when the national marketing year price comes in below those reference prices.
While enrollment began officially on Tuesday for the 2019 crop year, farmers can enroll for the 2020 crop year starting Oct. 7 and continuing until June 30, 2020. USDA noted a farmer waiting until Oct. 7 for sign up can enroll in both the 2019 and 2020 crop years during the same visit.
"During this time, farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields that takes effect beginning with crop year 2020. If the owner accompanies the producer to the office, the yield update may be completed during the same office visit," USDA stated.
Farmers will have the opportunity from 2021 through 2023 to change their program decisions.
USDA reminds farmers that enrolling in ARC and PLC can affect eligibility for the Supplemental Coverage Option insurance program. Farmers who sign up for ARC are ineligible for SCO on those planted acres, but farmers who enroll in PLC can still buy SCO policies.
Upland cotton farmers who enroll their seed cotton base acres in ARC or PLC also are ineligible for the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) on those cotton acres. To remain eligible for STAX, producers must not enroll their seed cotton base acres into either ARC or PLC.
To help farmers decide the best program for their acres, USDA has partnered with the University of Illinois and Texas A&M University for a pair of web-based tools.
University of Illinois: https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/…
Texas A&M University: https://www.afpc.tamu.edu/…
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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