WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2017 - Beginning this week, USDA will be making approximately $8 billion in 2017 payments to producers through the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, and $1.6 billion under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). “Many of these payments will be made to landowners and producers in rural communities that have recently been ravaged by drought, wildfires, and deadly hurricanes,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.  “I am hopeful this financial assistance will help those experiencing losses with immediate cash flow needs as we head toward the end of the year.” Over half a million producers will receive ARC payments and over a quarter million will receive PLC payments for 2016 crops, USDA said. Payments are being made to producers who enrolled base acres of barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, wheat and canola. In the coming months, payments will be announced for the remaining covered commodities including long and medium grain rice (except for temperate Japonica rice), which will be announced in November; remaining oilseeds and chickpeas, which will be announced in December; and temperate Japonica rice, which will be announced in early.  Also, USDA this week will begin issuing 2017 CRP payments to over 375,000 Americans.