WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2015 – With the deadline for the first key farm program decisions looming on Feb. 27, and the vast majority of farmers delaying or avoiding their decisions, leading agricultural economists are taking a cue from Nike’s marketing campaign and encouraging farmers to “just do it.”

There is some speculation that landowners will skip the first two steps where yields can be updated and base acres reallocated because they think the decision is too complicated. This could be a mistake, emphasized University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey. In fact, both Schnitkey and Joe Outlaw, Texas A & M Agricultural Economist, argued that, for most farmers, these decisions aren’t nearly as complicated as some have suggested.

“Instead of writing that this is the most complicated farm bell ever….., journalists should note that this is the most useful farm bill ever in tailoring individual risk management for your farm,” Outlaw emphasized during a panel discussion at the Crop Insurance Industry convention in Florida on Tuesday.

In a new “Just do it” blog released by the University of Illinois on Tuesday, Schnitkey and others argue that yield and base acre signup and decisions are straightforward. “Prudent choices are: 1) choose the highest yield and 2) choose the reallocation alternative with more base acres in crops with larger program benefits (e.g. in many Midwestern allocations choose the one with the most corn acres).” The University of Illinois team also developed a new decision-making guide that easily walks farm program participants through the process, along with their toolbox.

For the Texas A & M farm bill decision aids, click here.


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