The FSA last week released the first table of data related to the 2017 crop and ARC payments. They generally provide maps showing the payments by county, however, in checking their site I do not see the maps yet. I went through the data and am providing an overview of some of the interesting facts regarding Corn ARC:
- For the 2014 crop year, there were 1,801 counties receiving an average of $60.75 per acre and the maximum payment was $135.42 to Benton County, Washington state.
- For the 2015 crop year, there were 2,186 counties receiving an average of $63.13 per acre and the maximum payment was still $135.42 to both Benton County and Walla Walla County, Washington state.
- For the 2016 crop year, there were 2,173 counties receiving an average of $58.35 per acre and the maximum payment was $126.94 for Benton and Walla Walla counties again.
For the first three years, we can see that ARC payments on average remained fairly steady. We know that certain counties got low payments compared to counties next door, but on average there was very little change between the three crop years.
- Now, we come to 2017 crop year. The number of counties dropped all the way down to 814 counties with an average payment of $36.25 per acre and the maximum payment was $97.17 to Walla Walla County, Washington state.
As you can see, there is a very large drop off in both the number of counties and the average payment. Of course, this was expected due to the large drop in Olympic average prices and very good yields. It appears that 2018 yields may be even be greater than 2017 and the Olympic average price continued to drop. I would guess that final number of counties getting a 2018 corn ARC payment will be less than 500 and the average payment will be less than $20 per acre.
The Market Facilitation payment of perhaps a maximum of $3 per acre will not help much (maximum payment for some farms will be based on yields slightly in excess of 300 bushels per acre in our area times 1 cent is $3 times 50% is $1.50 per acre. That is the current guarantee.)
I also looked at the highest yielding counties over the last four years and thought I would share that data with you too:
- 2014 - Walla Walla, WA - 248, Dorchester, MD - 247, Adams, WA - 245
- 2015 - Benton, WA - 272, Kittitas, WA (and four other counties in Washington state) - 245
- 2016 - Clackamas, OR - 276, Sutter, CA - 264, Glenn, CA - 255
- 2017 - Benton, WA - 263, Warren, IL - 246, Clackamas, OR - 243
As you can see the West Coast states dominate the yields primarily due to irrigation on almost all of the counties listed. The only corn belt county to hit the top 3 was Warren County, Illinois last year. I know when I am riding combine out here with my clients in their better fields that the yield monitor is always jumping between 280 and 350.