Farm Bill Decisions: Are You Sure That’s the Right Program for Your Farm?

Farm Bill Decisions: Are You Sure That’s the Right Program for Your Farm?

ARC or PLC? That’s the million dollar question. How can you be sure?

Farmers across the country are biting their nails, flipping a quarter and praying they pick the farm bill program that is best suited to their farm. It’s no wonder, too. This is the most complicated farm bill our country has ever had, and you’re stuck with your choice for five long years.

So, which is it going to be—for the next five years—Agriculture Risk Protection (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC)?

Don’t panic just yet. You have until March 31 to update your yields, reallocate base acres and make your final decision.

Here’s what you need to know:

Seven Steps to a Farm Bill Decision

As deadlines near, decide if you prefer payments today or protection tomorrow. Katie Humphreys, Farm Journal managing editor, outlines the seven steps to making a decision.

The Farm CPA

Paul Neiffer’s blog, The Farm CPA, is a wealth of information on ARC, PLC, payment estimates, yield estimates and more. A quick scroll will uncover information that might help you make your decision.

Landowners and Farmland Renters

Land owners and farmland renters face their own unique challenges when deciding between the two farm bill programs.

For farmland renters, you might be asking yourself if it’s really worth nagging your landlord to update yields and reallocate base acres. Experts say, yes! Only landowners can complete the paperwork and if they don’t update the numbers, you could be stuck with old yields for years to come, which could lead to financial consequences down the road.

For landowners, it’s important to talk to your renters. Jonathan Coppess, ag law and policy specialist at the University of Illinois, says it’s an easy decision and you could be in and out of the FSA office in as little as 10 minutes. Landowners just need to make two initial decisions:  1) Yields, 2) Base acres.

Decision Made Easy

Is your head spinning yet? After you take a few deep breaths to calm yourself, sign up for a free Farm Bill Decisions Webinar. Upcoming Webinars are scheduled for March 10, March 17 and March 24. Experts will walk you through what you need to know about both programs, give examples to help you understand, offer tips, tricks, tools and more.

Need a bit more help? There’s also the Farm Bill Decisions eBook you can download. Click here for the details.


Want more information? Click here for AgWeb's ongoing coverage of the farm bill implementation.

How has the process been for you? What questions remain unanswered as these deadlines approach? Let us know on the AgWeb discussion boards.


Back to news



Spell Check

3/11/2015 12:55 PM


Western, NE
3/10/2015 09:40 AM

  Anyway that I sliced it and diced it, PLC was the only way to go. Especially in light of the forecasted USDA, FAPRI and MSU prices. ARC had a couple of payment years provided the county had a loss. But, to be hog tied for five years is ludicrous with ARC or PLC! Write your representative and senators to allow the producer to choose each year between ARC and PLC! That way you can take into account factors such as weather, county production, markets and NASS's bumbling production reports. Write your representative and senators now! The 2014 Farm Bill is a joke as it stands. Also, CRP acres that had 15 year contracts cannot be re-enrolled. That will add to acres being brought back into production! Producers need to have their voices heard! Write Congress now!!


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer