Don’t expect your farm bill payment for corn and soybeans to be the same as your family member who farms nearby.
According to farmdoc daily research by agricultural economists Carl Zulauf and Gary Schnitkey, growers could see big differences in payments, depending on where and what they farm. “A large variation exists in ARC-CO estimated payments per program base acre for the 2014 crop year in almost all of the top 10 corn and soybean production states.”
How big of a variation? For soybeans, the spread could be as little as $18 among Illinois counties or as high as $66 in Nebraska counties. (Arkansas had no payment difference between counties on soybeans, which Zulauf and Schnitkey attribute to the “consistently high yields” in the state.) For corn, the difference between county payments ranges between $54 in Missouri and $90 in Nebraska.
Neighboring counties, which are generally have similar growing conditions, do appear to have smaller spreads. The researchers looked more closely at 28 pairs of counties located next to each other. The average difference in ARC-CO payments for base acres in these counties turned out to be $6 for soybeans and $18 for corn.
For the full list of differences for corn and soybean payments by state, click here.