Even though it's impossible to forecast whether it will pay you more to go with the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program or stick with the traditional farm programs, you should aim to make an informed decision, says Carl Zulauf, Ohio State University Extension economist and one of ACRE's designers. "The real question you want to investigate is ‘Which will manage my risk.' In other words, which choice best matches financial stress you might face.”
Zulauf's analysis of nine crops indicates ACRE probably will make risk management assistance payments at a higher level of revenue per acre than the traditional program for all crops except cotton and peanuts. He emphasizes that those results are highly dependent on assumptions going out several years.
There are a number of calculators available to estimate your benefits. "I'd compare several because one might better match the way you think about your decision than another,” says Zulauf. Deadline is Aug. 14; don't wait too long as Farm Service Agency offices could look like the post office on tax day!
Details on how ACRE works and how its calculations differ from traditional programs: