Vilsack: Farmers Can Opt Out of ACRE for 2013 Crops

January 14, 2013 11:56 PM
 
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No farm program signup dates announced


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack confirmed a report on IWT this weekend when on Monday he said USDA has decided farmers can choose to either enroll acreage in the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program or opt out.

Farmers enrolled in the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program during the 2009-2012 crop years will be able to opt out of the program for 2013, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday. "We will see how many that were in ACRE will opt out," he said at the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting. "It is not as attractive." Signup for the 2013 crop year farm programs will take place "well before" fall, but Vilsack did not offer any specific dates.

“We will see how many that were in ACRE will opt out,” Vilsack added. “It is not as attractive.” Vilsack added USDA “learned what to do and what not to do” relative to implementing ACRE, lamenting “we were hopeful it would be utilized more.”

Background. ACRE participants get a 20 percent reduction in direct payments and a 30 percent reduction for marketing loan rates. This would mean a higher Congressional Budget Office (CBO) budget baseline for direct payments (and lower ACRE participation) in the coming CBO baseline updates to be released Feb. 4 and updated again in March.

Vilsack also continued to warn that Congress could still come back and cut the direct payments that were reauthorized for the 2013 crop year. Asked when those dollars were scheduled to be paid, Vilsack said sometime in the fall.

The only reference Vilsack made to when signup for 2013 farm programs would be is that it would be "much sooner" than the fall. There apparently is a difference of opinion within either USDA or USDA working with some on the Senate Ag Committee, where some staff are pushing for a June signup under the hope that a new farm bill could still be in place by that time and if so, then 2013 crops could retroactively fall under new farm bill policy. But others give that push low odds saying it would cause more problems than solutions. Others within USDA are pushing for a February startup for signup.



NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

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