Corn, Soybean Farmers Opt for ARC; Rice, Peanut Producers Choose PLC

June 17, 2015 05:00 AM
Corn, Soybean Farmers Opt for ARC; Rice, Peanut Producers Choose PLC

The country’s corn and soybean farmers have overwhelmingly chosen ARC as their farm bill safety net through 2018.

According to numbers released Monday by the USDA, more than 1.76 million producers elected either ARC (Agricultural Risk Coverage) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for their base acres, a decision they were required to make by April 7.

Under these new programs, producers will receive payments if commodity prices or crop revenues drop below certain levels, which can vary by crop and region. And, as expected, there were some regional splits in the numbers, with Midwestern growers generally opting for ARC as Southern producers chose PLC.

Here’s how things turned out for key commodity crops in terms of acres:

  • Corn: 93% ARC-CO; 7% PLC.
  • Soybeans: 97% ARC-CO; 3% PLC.
  • Wheat: 56% ARC-CO; 42% PLC; and 2% ARC-Individual Coverage.
  • Grain sorghum: 66% ARC-CO, 33% PLC.
  • Canola: 2% ARC-CO; 1% ARC-Individual Coverage; and 97% PLC.
  • Peanuts: 100% PLC.
  • Medium-grain rice: 4% ARC-CO; 96% chose PLC
  • Long-grain rice: 100% PLC.

Overall, it adds up to nearly 260 million acres of farmland covered under the ARC/PLC programs. Farmers must now formally enroll in the program between June 17 and Sept. 30.

What program will turn out to be the better bet, either for farmers or the government? It remains to be seen. “Once the final 2014 yields come out, we will have a better feel on final payments,” said Paul Neiffer, an accountant with CliftonLarsonAllen. 

But, given where crop prices are, it seems certain that Midwestern corn and soybean producers will receive a payment for the 2014 crop. “We’re almost coming up to the end of the marketing year,” Neiffer told AgWeb in an interview Monday. “Unless prices really rally, they’re looking at a full payment. For a lot of these farmers, it’s $70 to $80 per acre. That’s the difference between losing some money and making some money.”

Farmers are also likely to see a payment in 2015. 

How do you feel about your ARC/PLC choice? Let us know in the comments.

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Spell Check

kinmundy, IL
6/19/2015 08:04 AM

  These program ARC or PLC was a choice we farmer,s needed to make. Hopefully it was the right one.I don,t think anyone that farms wants to break the government .They just want to have protection from a lose and make a living.

Western, NE
6/17/2015 09:06 AM

  Too bad in Indiana that FSA did that. Here, you went through the scenarios that worked best for your farm. Understand that with ARC, if your county yield was exceptional in 2014 that offsets low prices, you may not get a payment.

jim switzer
Williamsport, IN
6/17/2015 08:13 AM

  Do you realize that the FSA had the forums printed ahead of time and filled out for ARC but if you wanted PLC you had to make the staff mad and have the ARC torn up , wasting their time and have new forums printed for PLC. Sounded like steering to me


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