NDSU: Producers Should Start Farm Bill Enrollment
The enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year is March 16.
There are several reasons producers should visit their Farm Service Agency (FSA) office now to enroll in the Agriculture Risk Loss (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, says Andrew Swenson, North Dakota State University Extension farm management specialist.
“March 16, 2020, is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year, but FSA offices have multiple programs competing for the available time and attention of their staff,” Swenson says.
“The longer a producer waits to schedule an appointment, the fewer options they will have to schedule a time and date that works best for them,” Swenson says. “Because of the importance and complexities of the ARC and PLC programs, producers should start the enrollment process now to ensure their elections are made and contracts signed ahead of the deadlines.”
If a producer fails to enroll by March 16 they will be ineligible to receive 2019 ARC and PLC payments.
There is no downside to enrolling now, as producers have the option of revising their ARC and PLC program election up to the March 16 deadline.
ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the national marketing year average (MYA) price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price.
Producers have the option of either selecting PLC or ARC-County on a crop-by-crop basis within each FSA farm unit, whereas the ARC-Individual program option includes total crop base acres of the enrolled farms. The sign-up decision is for both the 2019 and 2020 crop years.
Swenson says that given current price projections, wheat base should provide payments under both PLC and ARC-Co, but PLC should be the best choice unless the farm’s payment yields are very low. PLC payments are more likely and should be higher for the 2019 crop year.
“It is likely that soybean base will not provide payments under either PLC or ARC-CO,” Swenson adds. “However, ARC-CO is the better choice for soybean base, because of the possible lower county average yields reported for 2019.”
“I cannot see a clear favorite for corn base; currently neither option looks favorable for 2019 crop year payments,” Swenson says. “The national MYA price would have to drop $.15 per bushel from the current projection of $3.85 before reaching the reference price of $3.70, below which PLC payments would be made. Given the current price projection, 2019 county average corn yields would need to be greater than 17 percent below the county’s benchmark yield to trigger an ARC-CO payment.
Currently, PLC is the clear choice for canola base acres and it also looks like the best option for barley and sunflower base.”
For more information on ARC and PLC, producers can download the FSA program fact sheet, the 2014-2018 farm bills comparison fact sheet or use the online decision tool, available at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
Online ARC and PLC election decision tools also are available at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/farmmanagement/farm-bill.