WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – USDA announced today it will provide one additional week for farm owners and producers to choose between programs available to them under the 2014 Farm Bill. The deadline is extended from March 31 to April 7.
Under the farm bill, producers must choose one of two new commodity programs — Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) — for each crop on each farm by March 31. This decision will last the life of the farm bill, or about the next five years.
The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres is also extended to April 7, 2015.
Nearly 98 percent of owners have already updated their yield and base acres, and 90 percent of producers have enrolled in ARC or PLC, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press release.
Producers need to contact the Farm Service Agency by April 7. If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by the deadline, the farm's current yield and base acres will be used. If a program choice of ARC or PLC is not made, there will be no 2014 crop year payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage for the 2015 through 2018 crop years. Producers who have an appointment at their local FSA offices scheduled by April 7 will be able to make an election between ARC and PLC, even if their actual appointment is after April 7.
“This is an important decision for producers because these programs help farmers and ranchers protect their operations from unexpected changes in the marketplace," Vilsack said. “This additional week will give producers a little more time to have those final conversations, review their data, visit their local Farm Service Agency offices, and make their decisions.”
Covered commodities under ARC and PLC include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
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