On March 31, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced registration for farm programs, including the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program, are extended to Aug. 14.
In April, USDA released FSA Handbook, 1-DCP, Revision 3, which answers some questions regarding details. According to Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension economist, "an operator can choose whether to prove farm yields for program crops grown on that farm or take the ‘plug yield.' Use of farm information such as crop insurance actual production history, settlement and warehouse receipts, grain bin measurements, truck scales, diaries, loan and loan deficiency payment records are all included.
For each year from 2004 through 2008 years that program crops were not grown or yields cannot be proven, operators can choose to use a plug yield equal to 95% of the computed county average yield for that year.
Farm Service Agency will use National Ag Statistics Service final county production data for all program crops. This annual production number will be divided by the harvested acres for that crop in that county, adjusting for failed and considered planted acres. This is the same formula FSA used to determine the state 5-year Olympic average yield per planted acre. The plug yields for each county should be released by FSA in a few weeks and should help owners and operators considering ACRE sign-up in 2009 determine whether to make the efforts toprove actual farm yields.” –Linda H. Smith