We're still in early February, but farmers have some key dates they need to keep in mind for program enrollments.
Feb. 28: Farmers wanting to sign up for general enrollment in Conservation Reserve Program have until the last Friday of February to get that done. USDA is enrolling farmers for the first time in a general sign up since 2016. The 2018 farm bill also raised the cap to 27 million acres while the program now has 22 million acres enrolled.
Last month, USDA posted the 2020 county average cash rental rates for non-irrigated cropland that will be the basis for CRP rental rates going forward. The 2018 farm bill limits the CRP rental rate to 85% of the 2020 county average for non-irrigated ground. The excel spreadsheet for those rental rates can be found at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/…
March 15: Farmers also have until then to enroll in the farm-bill commodity programs for not just the 2020 crop year, but the 2019 crop year as well.
Until March 15, farmers can enroll their acres in the Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs for both 2019 and 2020.
With so much focus on the Market Facilitation Program, it seems the ARC/PLC decision has gotten lost in the shuffle. Enrollment for ARC/PLC began in early October, but USDA officials raised some concerns last month that only roughly 15% of eligible producers had enrolled in ARC or PLC. USDA encouraged producers to try to "beat the rush."
Also, farmers have the chance to update PLC payment yields that will take effect for the 2020 crop year. FSA notes, "If the owner accompanies the producer to the office, the yield update and enrollments may be completed during the same office visit."
A couple of decision tools were set up to help farmers make their decisions:
University of Illinois: https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/…
Texas A&M: https://www.afpc.tamu.edu/…
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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