Are we overthinking the farm bill programs? Kansas farmer Ken McCauley thinks so.
Ken McCauley, a White Cloud, Kan. farmer, made up his mind and signed up for ARC-CO. McCauley is the type of man that makes up his mind pretty quick and acts on his decision just as quickly. He says, “If I’m wrong, I’m wrong but I really think that’s [ARC-CO] the best.”
In a lot of cases, he notes, there’s too much thinking going on. From the way McCauley sees it, PLC is about price and ARC is about crop insurance, which is comparable to the Group Risk Income Protection (GRIP) policy.
For those unfamiliar with the GRIP policy, it was a plan of insurance which provided protection against an unexpected decline in revenues, whether due to low yields, low prices or a combination thereof. GRIP combined the yield coverage of the Group Risk Plan (GRP) with price protection and used commodity futures prices from various commodity exchanges in areas around the country.
As past president of the National Corn Growers Association, McCauley was active in past farm bills. From his experience, he believes this farm bill is somewhat comparable to past farm bills. He notes you don’t want to give up something you already have. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush and he sees the current ARC program as a bird in the hand.
“You know what the prices are, you know the way it’s set up on Olympic averages you’re going to benefit from past prices…You don’t know that the price is going to go down below $3 and stay there.”
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