Editor's Notebook: A Decision Too Monumental to Rush

07:49AM Oct 25, 2014
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The sustained good times in row crop country—and the paralysis in Washington, D.C.—has numbed us from paying close attention to the farm bill and its timelines for implementation. Time to snap to and pay close attention! Two new crop insurance programs—Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC)—are available in the 2014 bill. Selecting which insurance program to participate in is a one-time election that locks you in for five—yes, five—crop years. There is no changing your mind for the 2014 through 2018 crops. 

You have between Nov. 17 and March 31 to make a decision ... and if you don’t make a choice, USDA will automatically enroll you in PLC. That’s a lot of pressure on farmers and landlords to make the right decision. 

While it is unsure what the best choice is, one thing is certain: Crop insurance payments will play a critical role in profitability in the years ahead.

Realizing this is a tough landscape for farmers, USDA has created a website providing comprehensive 
information about the new insurance programs. You can find it at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc. While you’re there, be sure to check out the links to two online tools—one from the University of Illinois and the other from Texas A&M University—that can help you walk through what-if scenarios with each insurance choice. 

One thing to keep in mind, in terms of organizing the time it will take you to get your ducks in a row: Landlords have to agree and sign off on the program you select. As arduous as it is to wade through farm program paperwork, don’t delay. The livelihood of your operation could depend upon it.

Mark Your Calendar for the Top Events to Help You Navigate 2015

Elite Producer Business Conference
Nov. 3-5, Las Vegas, Nev.

Farm Journal Legacy Project Conference
Dec. 2-3, Kansas City, Mo.

Executive Women In Ag
Dec. 4-5, Chicago, Ill.

Farm Journal Legacy Project Workshops
Dec. 8, Greenville, Miss. 
Dec. 10, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Dec. 12, Garden City, Kan. 

Farm Journal Forum
Dec. 11, Washington, D.C.

Planter Clinic
Jan. 6, Memphis, Tenn.

Corn College in the South
Jan. 7, Memphis, Tenn.

Planter Clinic
Jan. 9, Indianapolis, Ind.

Tomorrow’s Top Producer
Jan. 20, Chicago, Ill.

Top Producer Seminar
Jan. 21-23, Chicago, Ill.

Test Plots Research Results
Feb. 3, Heyworth, Ill.

Nutrient Management College
Feb. 4, Heyworth, Ill.

Test Plots Research Results
Feb. 17, Ames, Iowa

Nutrient Management College
Feb. 18, Ames, Iowa

Wheat College
Feb. 24, Manhattan, Kan.

Wheat and Soybean College
March 3, Coldwater, Mich.

To learn more and register, call (877) 482-7203 or visit www.FarmJournal.com/trainings