Get Your Operation Farm Bill-Ready

April 10, 2014 07:00 AM
Get Your Operation Farm Bill-Ready

As producers wait to learn how the 2014 farm bill will affect their operations, they should be proactive by learning some basic facts about available programs and by catching up with their Farm Service Agency (FSA) representative. That’s according to farm business consultant Chris Barron.

"There are a couple of decisions we’re going to have to make," he tells Pam Fretwell, host, Straight from the Heartland radio. "The ARC is Agricultural Risk Coverage, and PLC stands for Price Loss Coverage. First of all, we have to decide between those two which one’s going to work best. … It looks to me like the ARC is going to be pretty advantageous for a lot of the corn and soybean producers in the Midwest, and maybe to the South we’ll see more of the PLC in decision-making.

"With the ARC, you have an additional decision to make on whether you want to use individual yields or county yields. The thing to keep in mind there is if you choose individual yields in the instance of a loss, your coverage level is 65% as opposed to if you use county average, you’re at 86% coverage level. So in a lot of the cases I’ve run there, too, it looks like the ARC county is probably the direction that a lot of producers will go. But you’ve really got to run your own numbers and make that ultimate decision on your own, and be ready for that when you go into the FSA office."

Click the play button below to watch AgDay TV's agribusiness update for Thursday, April 10, 2014:

Making that initial visit will help insure your agent is informed about recent on-farm changes—including new livestock buildings or adjustments to acreage structure.

"They’re working on several different software programs as we speak, and so until they figure out which one they’re going to go with—and then obviously work through the bugs and once they get it out, actually working in the offices there may be a few bugs there to deal with, too—it’s just a matter of being patient. There won’t be any payments that really can come out. Even if you do have a loss in ’14, it’s going to be October of ’15 before you get a loss payment for the ’14 crop anyway. We’ve got some time, but the main point is, get in touch with your local FSA office and keep them up to date so they can do the same back to you."

Click the play button below to hear Barron’s complete interview on Straight from the Heartland:

Click here for more news and videos from Top Producer’s Power Hour.



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