The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has opened enrollment for producers to decide which farm bill program best suits their farm. The 2018 farm bill brings a few changes, which means farmers have to make important decisions in the near future.
The initial decision farmers will make is whether or not they would like to update their payment yields used to calculate payments. The 2018 farm bill allows producers to choose to update their yields based off of years 2013 to 2017. The payment yield update would go into effect starting with the 2020 crop.
Much like the 2014 farm bill, producers will still choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). However, unlike the last farm bill where producers were locked into a decision for the life of the bill, the 2018 farm bill allows more flexibility when choosing program options.
With the current farm bill in place, producers have the ability to change their decision on ARC and PLC on each covered crop from year to year to best meet the needs of their farm. The 2018 bill initially requires farmers to elect a choice for 2019 and 2020. While both years can be elected simultaneously, it is not mandatory. For years 2021, 2022 and 2023, producers will be allowed to switch between ARC and PLC annually when they elect, if they choose to do so.
The election and enrollment period for 2019 ends on March 15, 2020, and the 2020 enrollment period ends June 30, 2020.
Choosing between program options can be difficult. Thankfully, the Ag and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University (AFPC) has developed an online yield update and program selection tool which is available online at https://www.afpc.tamu.edu/tools/farm/farmbill/2018.
In order to help farmers understand their options and tools available as resources, Texas Corn Producers (TCP) developed a series of workshops across the state for producers to see a demonstration of the decision aid tool and get the insight they need when making this farm program election.
Upcoming workshops will be held in Belton, Hereford and Dumas. For more information on producer resources, as well as research, promotion, and advocacy initiatives, visit www.TexasCorn.org or follow TCP on social media.