WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2015 – There’s still time left, but USDA officials are cautiously watching the calendar and the signup numbers. It’s easy to see why they might fear the worst: hundreds of thousands of farmers waiting until the last minute to make farm program decisions.
“I want to make sure that people make thoughtful and well-supported decisions. And there are plenty of good tools and public meetings going on that can help,” noted Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini in an interview with Agri-Pulse. “But it’s time for farmers to get into their county offices to sign up and avoid the long lines that could form near the end of the signup period.”
As of Jan. 12, Secretary Vilsack reported that 142,541 farmers had started reallocating base and updating yields – a decision required before Feb. 27, 2015. And 34,170 have made the decision to select either Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage – a decision that needs to be made before the end of March. FSA won’t say how many more have enrolled by Feb. 3. But with just 18 business days remaining before the Feb. deadline, it appears that only a small portion of the over 1.7 million farmers that USDA estimates are eligible to sign up have actually done so.
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